District 204 high schools creates a new Monday schedule for remote and in person learning


Ayaana Pradhan

District 204 implements a new Monday schedule to take in place of the old one created on Oct. 26.

A new Monday schedule was implemented by District 204 officials and high school principals. This new schedule was announced after the school board meeting that took place last Monday. It will replace the current one, which started last Monday. The purpose of this new schedule is to slowly get students back into the building and prepare them for in-person classes. 

“We wanted to try and put together some type of in-person learning opportunity for kids,” Principal Dr. Darrel Echols said. 

The new schedule will start on Nov. 30. Monday will now consist of remote learning for all students, with thirty-minute check-ins for each class period starting at 8:30 a.m. The rest of the week will be adjusted for students returning to school.

“We are going to be bringing in students [with last names] A through I on Tuesday and Wednesday, then I through Z on Thursday and Friday. We are using the same block,” Echols said. 

The district created the schedule under the parameters of social distancing. They wanted to make sure that the high school buildings would not be overcrowded, so students would not have trouble maintaining six feet of physical distance from one another. 

“We split it so we could get 25% [of students] into the building in one day and everybody could see all eight of their teachers; then we rotate to the second part of the alphabet the next week,” Echols said. 

The old Monday schedule, which the District had implemented on Oct. 26, had school run from 7:25 to 2:05, with eight 45-minute class periods. 

“We wanted to get all eight periods in one day, so that [in-person students] would get to see all eight of their teachers on that particular day. To do that, we didn’t want to make it a 20 minute period, so we took the old Wednesday schedule,” Echols said. 

This schedule matches the needs of students returning to school in-person, but not necessarily those who are continuing e-learning. The District was adamant about fitting in a full school day of learning for in-person students, so they could have enough time in the classroom with their teachers. 

“Nobody likes it, I can tell you that right now. We were hoping to get kids and teachers accustomed to being back in the building,” Echols said. “At the end of the semester, we will try to go with something a little bit more wholesome.” 

Eventually, students and staff can expect potential changes to the schedule as more students re-enter the building. 

“We wanted to try to put together some type of in-person learning opportunity for kids that we felt we would be able to keep everybody socially distant and to try to have a normal school day,” Echols said. 

While in-person learning is a huge adjustment for students to make, Echols believed the students of Metea Valley are more than capable of making it. 

“I think it’s going to be tough once we start to bring kids back,” Echols said. “I think it will be a little strange, but we are going to have to learn together.” 

Until COVID-19 cases are low enough for students to safely return to school, students will stay at home with e-learning. Until then, students should continue reaching out to their teachers for guidance and actively participate in Zoom classes. 

“We just have to continue to keep the lines of communication open, ” said Echols. “We do not want anyone to fail. But you have to meet us halfway. If you turn your camera on and jump into class, we will work with you, but you just need to meet us halfway.”