The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Eight-Day Schedule Changes Proposed, Scrapped

Latin’s current schedule for a sample Upper School student

Proposed changes to Latin’s eight-day schedule will no longer be implemented after negative student and faculty feedback.

Before the changes were scrapped, Latin administrators presented four schedules to students and faculty. One of the questions these plans addressed was, “What does it look like if we have long block at [any] possible [time slot]?” Upper School math teacher Michelle Neely said.

Among the final presented schedules, there were still ideas that started with a morning long block, but also an idea that had long block over lunch.

Additionally, the length of the long block varied—75, 80, or 90 minutes—across the schedules.

The point of each of these plans was the same: Create opportunity for multi-divisional shared time. This time would allow “teachers [to] teach across divisions, particularly in the Upper and the Middle School,” Ms. McGlinn said.

The addition of these cross-divisional teachers would come with numerous benefits.

“The other piece, from what I remember, is to save FTPs—Full Time Positions,” Middle School language arts teacher Max Melgarejo said. If teachers could work in both the Upper and Middle Schools, a part-time Upper School position and a part-time Middle School position could fuse into one full-time job opening.

Shared time between divisions would also create more opportunities for community gathering. “Sort of the genesis of Dr. Hagerman wanting to have us look at the daily schedule [was] to see if we could have, across three divisions, a start time and a potential end time, or some points during the day, where we could all kind of come together,” Upper School English teacher Ann McGlinn said.

With the current eight-day rotation, time for combined activities is often limited, and more robust programs require special schedule days that change class times. With the new plans, committee members overseeing the changes wanted to “think about how we could potentially align the schedules for future programming,” Assistant Head of School Ryan Allen said.

Throughout their time working together, the committee went through many ideas for the eight-day schedule. Only after working through them all did they settle on four to present. “The committee started with like 20 different potential templates to look at,” Ms. McGlinn said.

However, creating a schedule with these possibilities required extensive communication between divisions. “Each division would be allowed to fill up the time slots,” Mr. Melgarejo said. “If, in Middle School, we decided ‘we’re going to have homeroom at this time,’ but Upper School had Latin, because the Latin teachers do this cycle thing, they would not be able to go and teach their long block if they had a homeroom commitment.”

This coordination became difficult due to the differing needs of students in each division. Even before the schedules were designed, “It became very obvious that every one of the divisions is a different beast, and so what works for a high schooler might not work for a lower schooler,” Ms. Neely said. “They can’t rotate every day, they can’t take naps at 10 some days and 3 the other days.”

Mr. Allen further explained why the proposed changes were not meant for Lower School implementation. “Middle School and Upper School benefited from the rotating schedule. We also didn’t think that that was developmentally appropriate for little kids. So I think it kind of became more of a Middle School [and] Upper School project,” he said.

Even while the schedule reconstruction was just a Middle and Upper School project, the process still looked different from previous times when the schedule had been changed. “In the past, we’ve had outside consultants, and they would work with teachers and other stakeholders and then come up with some suggested ideas—and that process took years,” Mr. Melgarejo said.

The longer timeline of a consulting process means changes can go through many stages, often becoming more thought-out along the way. However, if a quick timeline is the goal, the long process means more time before changes can be implemented. Additionally, community members such as Ms. Neely worry that consultants can make for a less personal final product. “[Having] somebody come in who doesn’t know our program, and then they listen to us, they take all this information, and then they give you a schedule—they probably have 12 in their back pocket,” she said.

Despite the multifaceted approach, the proposed schedule changes have faced significant opposition from students and faculty and will not be enacted for the next school year. A variety of concerns were raised about the schedule plans, many involving start times and whether the schedule was developmentally appropriate for Middle School.

One of the concerns, Ms. McGlinn said, was “not wanting to start at 8 o’clock every day due to best practices for high school students.”

Yet as Ms. Neely said, “A lot of studies show ‘start later in the day.’ But if you start later, guess what ends up happening? You have to end later.”

The schedule’s time constraints were partially the result of the time allotted to community gatherings. Sophomore Theodore Tikhomirov said, “The schedule is trying to draw time out of thin air by increasing the amount of community time we have.”

Start time concerns were accompanied by questions about whether the schedule, particularly long blocks, would work for Middle Schoolers. Mr. Melgarejo said, “It felt to us like we weren’t looking at ‘what were the needs of the students’ for Middle School students. Is it developmentally appropriate for a fifth grader to have a long block?”

All of these concerns, cumulatively, were deciding factors that led to the changes being scrapped. In the end, as Ms. Neely said, “Something has to give, and we just came to the conclusion that nothing could give.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Scarlet Gitelson
Scarlet Gitelson, News Editor
Scarlet Gitelson (‘26) is delighted to be serving as one of this year’s News Editors. Within her writing, she seeks to explore and understand Latin’s community, and she hopes to enable other writers to get to know the school through their work. Covering content as far-reaching as Marvel movies, History classes, and college rankings, Scarlet isn’t afraid to step outside her comfort zone to reach the heart of a story. When she isn’t writing for The Forum, Scarlet can be found competing on Latin’s math, scholastic bowl, robotics, and ultimate frisbee teams, playing snare drum and marimba, re-watching Spider-Man for the fifth time, or diving into a good book.

Forum Awards Are Back!

Submit by May 1st

Comments (0)

All The Forum Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *