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If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: North Scott's Questionable New Schedule

Updated: Mar 26

North Scott High School’s bell schedule might be changing next year—and it's not looking good. P6 in the middle of the day, an extended school day until 3:15, as well as hour-long lunch periods with no open campus? But . . . why? Tests for this dreaded new schedule are set to happen next week. How will this situation turn out, and why are so many students outraged by this decision?


The announcement of the new schedule came out just a few weeks ago and was met with heavy backlash from nearly everybody in the student body. Recently, a form was sent out to get some opinions and data regarding the change. Here’s what it gathered:

  • A massive 95.6% of students were against the schedule change.

  • An even higher 97% of students didn’t like the extension of the school day to 3:15.

  • Interestingly, a relatively lower percentage of students were against having P6 in the middle of the day, with 88.9% of respondents saying they were against it.

Many people voiced their opinions on the matter as well. Again, nearly every single comment on the matter was negative. Many students simply ranted about the decision, calling it “braindead” and “idiotic.” Someone even claimed it was the “most aggravating thing the school board could have come up with.” 

A number of issues and concerns have arisen with this new schedule. For starters, not having to go to a sixth block is seen as a reward by many. Leaving school at 2:40 is a perk for students who stay on top of their grades so they don’t have to worry about going to P6. If anything, being assigned to P6 is generally viewed as more of a punishment. Although taking away the ability to leave “early” and placing it in the middle of the school day technically doesn’t decrease the current length of the day, it is still a pretty sad decision made by the school board.

A Longer School Day?

The border of the North Scott School District

In regards to the technical extension of the school day, another concern that has popped up is work. North Scott is a very large, spread out district, with some students living nearly a half hour away, the additional 30 minutes at the end of the school day can be crucial for some who need to go straight home to get ready for work or whatever needs to be done. Along with this, a small number of jobs have set shifts that start at 3:00. If these employers aren’t willing to be flexible with the school’s new hours, are the students who work here just going to be thrown under the bus? It may not seem like a big difference, but these 30 minutes do mean a lot to a lot of our schedules. 

Students have jobs to get to, siblings to pick up, and many other outside responsibilities that the district seems to be largely ignoring. 

Issues for Athletes

This change doesn’t look good for our student-athletes either. Since P6 would be in the middle of the day, it makes P6 lifts seemingly impossible. This time period, which many of our athletes take advantage of and may even rely on will no longer be a possibility. The current schedule has a time slot at the end of the day that allows for athletes, and other extracurriculars for that matter, to prepare for their respective activities. Without this time slot, students won’t have time to wind down, visit the trainer, or quickly go home to pick up something they forgot.

The Parking Problem

Finally, one of the last major concerns for the new schedule is traffic. Parking at the high school is already dreadful. But nearly every single student getting out at 3:15 . . . that sounds even more dreadful. Not only does this increase the amount of students trying to get out of the parking lots at once, but it also brings the dismissal time to almost the exact same as the junior high and elementary school. Many of these students live within Eldridge and walk home. For years, high school students have gotten out earlier, which has also given them time to drive home or wherever they need to be; however, that’s not the case anymore. Many students are very inexperienced drivers where many still rely on their school permit to get from point A to point B. Now call me crazy, but hundreds of inexperienced drivers leaving the high school at the same time as hundreds of middle school and elementary students sounds like a recipe for disaster. Not only is it likely to increase the risk of car accidents, but pedestrian accidents as well.

What We Know

Top-down schematic of the future Regional Innovation Center

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news . . . but the schedule change will be happening. I interviewed Mr. Marceau to get his view on the debacle and learned just why the schedule change is happening. To keep it short, it’s because of the innovation center. Marceau described the innovation center as what’s essentially a second campus—one that’s a mile away. This creates the need for the alleged hour long lunch break. In reality, the primary purpose of this is to be used as a travel period to get between campuses. Along with this, those who aren’t traveling to the innovation center or have an assigned P6 are likely going to have to go to some sort of classroom for a study hall or seminar type of thing. Mr. Marceau stated that “[w]hat this will allow us to do is provide a lot of support for students by moving that intervention period with our lunch in the middle of the day.” P6 is being moved with the intent of giving students more options for academic interventions, allowing them to expand what seminar has to offer. A lot of different ideas have come up between staff for what this time can be used for.

Last night, we received an email what the lunch schedule will look like for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week. This will be the first time that we’ll get a sample of what the schedule is likely to be like for years to come. Its important to remember that there will be a lot of kinks in this system. In the words of Mr. Marceau: “Change is hard, it always is [. . .]” “[. . .] it’s going to take some time to get used to it.” However, he is confident that after a few months everything will be going smoothly. 

Me personally? I’m glad I’m graduating . . . 

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Mar 22

Aint no way this is happening

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