New Schedule to Come to Conestoga

Hybrid Schedule to Take Over as New System During 2021-2022 School Year

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Students in Mr. Schmeckpeper’s science class test out their convection ovens. This year’s longer class periods have allowed students to get more out of their lab-based classes.

Murray, Neb.–The pandemic has brought many changes to the world, the United States and Conestoga Jr./Sr. High school. Some precautions taken to mitigate the threat of spread of COVID-19 have proven to additional have uses, even beyond the need to fight the coronavirus.

One such change in the lives of students at Conestoga is the new block schedule employed by the high school to help minimize hallway time. This schedule cuts a day down to four lengthened classes instead of eight shorter ones. Each day alternates which set of four classes are in session.

While this schedule specifically won’t be used, a hybrid version of this and the normal schedule is set to be enacted for the 2021-2022 school year as a compromise. According to the plan, Tuesday and Friday will have the typical eight class schedule. Wednesday and Thursday will use the block schedule with the first four classes on Wednesday, and the last four classes on Thursday, this according to Laurel Kreifels, the guidance counselor at the high school.

The three lunch system will continue on as well as having Cougar Connections everyday. But it will be at the end of school hours instead of around lunch. “The whole school will have the same Cougar connections [time],” said Kreifels. “I think it’ll be better that we’re all on the same page.” She said that this will give more opportunity for things such as collaborations, working with other teachers, and having class meetings.

Currently, this has been fully approved and is set to take action, but as Kreifels puts it “anything can happen.”

While deciding on what schedule to use for the next year, a poll was sent out to teachers to gauge their preference towards the eight class or block schedule, and it came back with mixed results. “The survey of the teachers was pretty split on what they thought was best for kids,” said Kreifels.

After seeing similar combination schedules being considered at other schools, the compromise was brought to the building leadership team who decided to give it meaningful consideration. From there, the logistics of making it work needed to be taken care of. Kreifels got busy “…penciling out if it would work, if it would meet the state requirements…that we as a school need to meet.”

After presenting it to the building leadership team again, it was a go.

Overall, this seems like an exciting change which will hopefully be advantageous for students and teachers alike. To put it in Kreifels’s words, “I think we’re always looking for ways to improve.”