Three years ago, the block schedule took Fairfield Warde by storm, bringing lunch to all students without limiting their ability to take electives. The then new schedule also allowed for students to focus on fewer classes each day, and the longer periods made it easier for larger activities to be completed in a class period. For the 2018-2019 school year, the block schedule, as well as parts of Warde’s curriculum, are now getting an update.
One large change is in the science department, not only unveiling a new curriculum full of many electives, but a schedule change as well. Instead of the usual two full blocks accompanied by one “mini” period, science classes will meet every other day just like regular classes. AP classes will be the exception to this, meeting with the same two mini periods as usual. This is meant to eliminate the complications that often came with fitting in physical education and health.
This comes after the original change of having AP science classes meet three out of four full blocks being decided against. “It was like they were punishing students who want to take an AP science course,” says Emma Kennelly, a junior at Warde. After numerous complaints from students, this change will no longer be happening so that all students could take more electives.
This frustration was understandable, especially when looking at the new and exciting science curriculum. In addition to course tracking become more individual based, there are many all-new electives, such as Chemistry of Medicine, Dangerous Planet, and Marine Science.
“I’m exceedingly excited about the new science courses,” says science teacher Mrs. Werner. “The new courses are going to be cool, fun, and interesting to teach, and I hope that students are excited to take them!”
An additional change that has been made is increasing the number of ways for students to fulfill the computer proficiency requirement. Now, not only do the original methods of passing the exam, Computer Info Systems course, or summer school program meet the requirement, but other courses can be passed to prove proficiency. Certain classes, be it in business, art, technology education, and music can meet the graduation requirement, and if students have already passed any of the classes already, their need has been met. This opens up another opportunity for taking more interesting electives, as students will not have to constantly try to get into the Computer Information Systems course since they can choose to take another instead.
Peter Cullen, a junior, says “I’m looking forward to the new changes because of the extra opportunities they can give students for the new electives.”
And what to do with these extra elective slots? Latin teacher Mrs. Fedoryk has a suggestion: take a language! “It’s always good to add a language. I was a double major in college, Spanish and Latin, so I’m always pleased whenever there are more opportunities to study more languages, whatever they are.” Taking a language course is not a graduation requirement, though colleges are always looking to see them as a part of a student’s transcript. Languages are also extremely practical for use in the world beyond school. Mrs. Fedoryk is optimistic that students will take advantage of this opportunity. “I love greeting modern language students in the hallway in their own languages, so hopefully [the schedule change] only increases the number of students I can greet in Latin and Spanish!”
Like Mr. Ebling says to students every time they gather in the auditorium, “When we come in here, it’s for something important.” Hopefully, this important change will help students get the most out of their high school experience!
For more information, students can look at the Program of Studies, Course Selection Powerpoint, this informational letter, or talk to their school counselor.
PLEASE NOTE: This article has been updated from its original content to account for the changes that have been made in the schedule.