In Search of the Five-Day Week: Graf Answers Scheduling Questions

Bianca Stelian 

Staff Writer

Last year at Latin (for those who remember) we had Linguapalooza, Mathtastic Morning, and many full school weeks in the beginning of second semester. This year, no such academic events are scheduled, and if feels like we haven’t had a five-day week since December. Without a doubt, it seems as if there is a feeling of change at the Latin School. I was able to sit down with Mr. Graf to discuss these new proceedings.

The first issue on my mind (as well of those of many other Forum writers) related to last Thursday’s half-day. Many students felt that the shorter day was unnecessary, especially given the multiple school cancellations we’ve had. One student even spoke of seeing a teacher at around 1:30 that day, and upon asking said teacher why they weren’t in meetings, they said that they were long done.

Mr. Graf quickly cleared this up. “Last year, I sent out a survey to some parents asking for feedback about the academic advising system,” he said. “Based on the responses I got, I thought that it would be more effective to hold placement meetings earlier in the year, and that we should give them more time so that each student could receive the attention they need to decide their course eligibility.” He continued to explain that this would be beneficial come February 19, when parent-teacher-student academic conferences are scheduled, so that a teacher could present a clear list of classes the student was pre-approved to take. This certainly makes sense – last year, students signed up for classes before knowing 100% what they were or weren’t eligible to take, so having full awareness certainly allows us to have a better sense of what lies ahead.

The questions didn’t end here, though. I asked him why Mathtastic Morning was cancelled, and whether its disappearance from the schedule related at all to these new academic advising changes at Latin. Mr. Graf told me that in order to schedule the half-day to accommodate the teacher placement meetings, he needed to find a special schedule early in second semester. There were two – one in February, and one slated for March, which was actually supposed to be the Mathtastic Morning day. However, by holding off on Mathtastic Morning until next year, the school was able to move up the date of these placement meetings without taking away any more school time.

“And of course,” Mr. Graf continued, “this schedule was created before this year, and there was no way of predicting that we would have four cancelled school days. Changing the schedule further at this point would have too many negative consequences.”

And so ended our discussion. Hopefully your questions have been answered, and hopefully the upcoming 2015 Mathtastic Morning will be as fantastic as it is in all of our dreams.