The Eight Period Debate

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Keira Saavedra

Lincoln’s new 8 period schedule causes debate among students and staff.

Hadley Steele

All-eight period Fridays have been a big adjustment across Lincoln. With only 44 minutes per class, students and faculty alike say they find it difficult to effectively use their time. In an email sent out earlier this year, Principal Peyton Chapman described the reasoning behind the schedule change.

We will be following the Portland Public Schools (PPS) HS schedule with rotating A/B Block days on Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Thursday with all eight classes meeting on Fridays. This schedule fixes or anchors the weekly schedule to help students be able to access classes at Portland Community College, Portland State University, and Reed College more easily. It also allows students to see each of their teachers three times each week,” Chapman stated in the email. 

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, students are required to spend 990 hours in school in the state of Oregon. Some changes have been made at Lincoln this year to meet that goal, such as a reduction of FLEX hours and the all-eight period Friday. 

“The measurement that they’re using is so archaic,” said social studies teacher Chris Buehler. “Just because you sit in the classroom for 990 hours, doesn’t mean that you’re learning. It just means you’re sitting.”

Buehler has also noticed the difficulty of presenting new content in only 44 minutes.

“I wonder if [the short periods are] going to chip away at new content being presented,” he said. “Are we going to be able to get through all the content demands of a class if Fridays become more informal, as opposed to introducing new content?” 

Some students note that the set schedule makes planning extracurriculars and jobs easier.

“It’s easier to have A days that are always on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m sure for people with sports and after school jobs that makes it a lot easier,” senior Caroline Gomez said.

For students not attending college classes or who are relatively unaffected by a non-set schedule, however, there has been contention as to whether the all-eight period Friday is an effective use of time. 

“Some of my teachers make the all-eight period day a work day to make it more relaxed. That, or they continue on like every other day with lessons and new assignments,” senior Stella Nevills said.

With eight classes in one day, that means that there are eight different classes to prepare for. Homework loads are seemingly bigger and more books are needed for one day.

“I get really tired in comparison to normal. I feel like I’m doing a lot more work than I am actually doing. More work is assigned on all-eight period days, too, so we have more work to do over the weekend leaving little time for college applications and other work,” Gomez said. 

Some teachers are also having a hard time adjusting to having eight different classes in a day. 

“As a teacher with three prep periods, I find that [an all-eight period day is] a big ask on a Thursday,” says Buehler, “because I have to prepare for my three distinct classes on Friday,” he said. 

Buehler also acknowledged how difficult this new schedule could make a school day for students. 

“I can’t imagine what it’s like for a student to have eight different classes in one day. Different ways of doing things by different teachers, different expectations, different styles of learning. Moving around at different times, sitting for 45 minutes, and then moving again,” he said. “You know, it just seems like a lot of shuffling for not a lot of time for learning.”

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