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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Elective Teachers Weigh Impact of Potential Schedule Change

Students+in+culinary+arts+enjoy+tending+to+the+indoor+classroom+vertical+gardens.+Opportunities+like+these+can+be+extended+to+even+more+students+should+a+potential+eight-period+day+be+introduced.
Dayton Griffin
Students in culinary arts enjoy tending to the indoor classroom vertical gardens. Opportunities like these can be extended to even more students should a potential eight-period day be introduced.

WOODBURY — With every new school year comes new challenges and opportunities for students and faculty alike. Faculty and Board of Education members have been tirelessly working at finding ways to better Nonnewaug and its facilities to give students the best chance to succeed. 

The district’s commitment to bettering Nonnewaug for students has led them to the possibility of an eight-period schedule. One of the positives of a potential schedule change is that it would allow students — especially those taking AP and agriscience courses — to take more classes and electives that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to take because of scheduling constraints. 

“I think one of the driving factors in even considering an eight-period schedule has been speaking to elective teachers and also agriscience students and students who are taking a lot of AP classes,” said Dr. Mykal Kuslis, first-year Nonnewaug principal. “There are many limitations for them because if they are in agriscience or an AP class during a certain period, then they are forced to choose the AP or agriscience class or the elective class, and most of the time they will choose the AP class, or for agriscience students they are forced to take the agriscience class as one of their requirements for being here.”

NHS senior Carson Buck says that he has learned a variety of skills in his MOS certification course, which is an elective. Students would have more flexibility to take electives if an eight-period schedule is adopted for the 2024-25 school year. (Dayton Griffin)

An added period to the school day will allow students more options to explore courses and topics of interest. 

“With eight periods, it gives students a lot more flexibility on where to place those elective classes that they didn’t get to take before,” Kuslis said.

The intent of a schedule change is to help all students succeed and to provide more opportunities, AP and agriscience students specifically. Students would be encouraged to take another class rather than filling their schedule with an extra study hall.

“That’s the intent and the hope,” Nonnewaug dean of students and athletic director Declan Curtin said. “We want to help students be more well-rounded in their academics and give them opportunities that they might not have unless we move to the eight-period schedule. It’s up to us as leaders of this community to try to create [positive] situations.”

Faculty members hope that the potential schedule change will allow students who face challenges with their schedules to take classes they normally wouldn’t be able to, specifically electives courses.

“I think that the eight-period schedule will definitely be positive if put into place,” digital art teacher Genna Riggi said. “The more periods in the day, the more opportunities to take electives, especially for ag students. I also think because most electives are very project-based, it will allow students to get into their process during class time.”

Not only will the possible eight-period schedule allow students to take classes they wouldn’t normally, but it will also allow teachers to teach and educate students they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

“The hope in having an eight-period day is to provide more learning opportunities to students,” said John Dominello, culinary arts instructor. “I’m hoping that with a potential eight-period day it will give me an opportunity to see students that I normally don’t get to see, like students in a lot of AP classes or agriscience classes.”

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About the Contributor
Dayton Griffin is a senior at Nonnewaug High School and a first-year writer for Nonnewaug Chief Advocate. He is from Bethlehem. He is an avid athlete and hockey player. As a writer, he enjoys writing about camp activities and sports.
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