Safe schedule changes

Many schedule revisions are put in place around the school due to the pandemic


Camille O'Neill

Students in room 131 learn on their computers while they are in person. Every student is wearing a mask.

Camille O'Neill, Staff Reporter

2020 has been a year for the ages. We are making history right now because of the pandemic. Our lives are full of change, in all aspects, including school schedules. 

In order to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, there are a number of schedule changes being put in place by Millard West to keep everyone in the school safe. These changes made it possible for teachers to wipe down tables in between each class, sanitize equipment and materials, and administer hand sanitizer to students as they come in the classroom. 

During the first week of school, students attended school based on the first letter of their last name Monday through Thursday, and remote learners attended on Friday.  Students attended one day a week and the school was filled to 25% capacity. 

“It was hard when some of my classes only had one student in them. We focused on talking about the protocols and getting students set up with Google Classroom and building relationships,” special education teacher Melanie Crsiman said. “It was boring teaching the same thing over and over.” 

During the first week, teachers only had about four to five students in each class. In the subsequent two weeks, Millard Public Schools decided that it was best for the community if all of the high schools switched to a 50-50 schedule. At Millard West, each student was assigned to an A group or B group based on their last name. The A group was in class while the B group was remote. This schedule alternated every other day. 

Some teachers’ lesson plans differed because of the new 50-50 schedule. They had to adjust their lessons in order to accommodate all students. 

“When I planned out lessons, I focused on the absolute essentials to try to reduce the

amount of material that students will learn,” AP Statistics teacher Amy Delehant said. “I typically like to do lot of group work and activities and I’m still trying to figure out how

to incorporate all my activities while social distancing and keeping everyone safe.” 

In addition to the 50-50 schedule, the way students eat lunch at school looks a little different. This year, there are three 45 minute lunch periods that don’t overlap each other. In between each lunch, the custodians sanitize and wipe down all of the lunch tables, so that they are ready to go for the next group coming in.

“I feel like it’s nice to have a longer lunch this year,” junior Samantha Rieke said. “That’s the only time you get to talk to your friends.”

Students can choose to eat in a variety of places this year that weren’t available to them in the past. As always, they can eat in the commons. Eating outside was added as an option for all students this year. When students eat outside, they are only allowed to sit in the courtyard along the main entrance. Regardless of where students eat, they are allowed to take their masks off to eat, but they have to stay 6 feet away from other students. 

Passing periods are also longer this year so that teachers can sanitize all surfaces before the next class comes in. Passing periods are 10 minutes instead of eight, and students are instructed to go straight to their next class.

“The ten minute passing periods are unnecessary,” senior Elise Nyffeler said. “We can’t talk to our friends or go to the restroom. We could have six minute passing periods.”

Students who elected to return to school in person will do so, at full capacity, starting on Monday.