As students return to school, those attending Whitehouse Junior High School will find the schedule is different. School begins at 7:50 a.m., which is five minutes sooner than last year. Parents will need to make plans to drop off their students accordingly. School will end at 3:10 p.m.
WJHS has also switched from a seven period to an eight period day schedule for the 2017-2018 school year. According to WJHS Principal Joshua Garred, this allows for changes that will benefit the students.
There will be double blocking (two periods in a row) for both math and English classes. The longer class time allows students to be more active and involved instead of just sitting through a lecture.
“[It] gives us more time in the classrooms to do more hands on activities… time to actually let them experience it and touch it,” Garred said.
Instead of double blocking with seven periods, the change to eight prevents students from losing an elective course such as athletics or fine arts. To accommodate the difference, each period will be five to six minutes shorter. The added period also allows teachers to have a time each day dedicated to finding better ways to educate students. The professional learning communities (PLC) are built-in times of collaboration where teachers discuss student data, test creation, teaching strategies and more.
Beginning a new school year can be intimidating and exciting. Garred suggests that students “get involved in some organization – whether it’s a sport, theater, band, choir, whatever it is – and be a part of something.”
WJHS is probably a bigger school than most of the students have been to, Garred said, so getting involved can help keep them from getting lost in the crowd.
“Stay on top of [school] work,” Garred advises students. “Don’t fall behind cause once you fall behind it’s difficult to get caught up again.”