LHS Student and Teacher Opinions on the Wednesday Schedule


On Thursday, Jan. 14, the Livermore High School principal, Helen Gladden, and other members of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) sent an email to students and families containing information about the updated distance learning schedule. 


The schedule showed that high school students would begin attending each of their classes on Wednesday mornings from 8:20. to 11:40, with 30 minutes of class time for each period, on Jan. 20.


The email explained that the schedule was adapted to “alleviate some of the concerns about workload and stress,” which were expressed in surveys sent out to students and teachers prior to the winter break.


In response to the rollout of the schedule, students and teachers at Livermore High School were asked to share their opinions on the extra instructional time. 


Eleanor Yuna Leek (9) said,“There’s just too much material to be covered in two classes, and a lot of times, teachers don’t want to make support mandatory,” Leek said about her Spanish class. 


With the additional time, Leek is hoping they’ll be able to cover more of the curriculum’s material. On the other hand, she has found that she doesn’t need extra time for some classes and that the additional periods use up the time she spends doing homework and other activities.


Jennifer Walker, an LHS math teacher, explained that she used to have more time to plan lessons and work with other teachers before more instructional time was planned into the school week, but that the new schedule has been helpful as well. 


The additional class gives her, “an opportunity to provide extension lessons for Algebra 2 classes, and focused intervention for Conceptual Geometry classes.” Walker said that despite the time extension, however, “30 minutes is an eyeblink in a math class,” and that more time for the class would be beneficial.


Ryan Mina (10), said, “The benefits of having more time are of course more access to teachers and instruction.” 


Mina said that having Wednesday classes in the morning rather than in the afternoon like the rest of the school week is, “strange but not inherently bad,” and that the short class times “doesn’t allow for much in-depth discussion or work,” but instead serve as, “a nice review time for students and teachers.”


Mary Kaye Brown, an LHS Latin teacher, said that the additional time, “is a great relief,” because she can answer students’ questions and not rely on making videos to explain concepts. 


One complaint that Brown has about the schedule is the time the school day starts. “I think it should be in the afternoons rather than the mornings, like on other days. The District said the feedback they got from teachers, parents, and students was that the Wednesday classes should be in the morning, but most teachers and students I have heard from saying they wish it were in the afternoon,” Brown said.


France Richmond (11) said that the extra time in classes they “don’t pay much attention in,” takes away from the time that they use to do chores and complete other responsibilities.


 To alleviate issues like this, Richmond said that the administration, “could consider changing the times for school to make it easier for those who have other responsibilities.” 


Christopher Filice, the LHS Choir teacher, explained that he is planning to use the additional class time to answer questions, review and clarify previously discussed topics, and provide students an opportunity to work and ask questions as needed. Filice is hoping that the additional time will allow for him to cut down on the amount of work he has been assigning outside of class.


 “We still have less overall school than we’d normally have, so any addition is getting closer back to regular school,” Filice said. 


Adam Caley (12) said that he hates the new schedule with a “fiery passion.” Caley said that the short class periods don’t allow for him to get much done and that the schedule change has interfered with his established routine in the morning, during which he would finish work from the previous day. 


“I think getting rid of them [Wednesday class periods], in general, would be the best action,” he said. 


“I myself take AP classes and think that even though I’m taking a tougher course with a lot of material, I get enough time in class and understand the material [without the additional class time],” Caley said.


Both students and teachers of Livermore High School expressed that they mixed feelings about the schedule. The extra time is helpful for some, but for others it’s more of a hindrance. For now, however, it will be the new normal that teachers and the student body will have to get accustomed to.