Semi-weekly homeroom to be added to second semester student schedules

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Photo by Rachael Woods

The District 203 Board of Education discusses the new schedule at the Oct. 18 board meeting.

Rachael Woods and Peyton Arens

The School District 203 Board of Education announced a new high school schedule to begin next semester, which includes a semi-weekly homeroom class. 

Administrators and district officials believe the schedule, introduced at the Oct. 18 board meeting, will dedicate more time for student growth and support in multiple areas, including social-emotional learning and academics. Naperville Central principal Bill Wiesbrook, a member of the task force, discussed his excitement for the program.

“We have never before at school had time dedicated for all teachers and students to build meaningful relationships spanning over a series of four years focused on academic and social emotional development,” Wiesbrook said while introducing the homerooms to the Board of Education. “This is an exciting time to be a high school student in District 203.”

Through a series of questions posed by board members at the meeting, NNHS principal Stephanie Posey and Wiesbrook answered questions that may arise from students and the community. They described that the 45 minute homeroom will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between second and third period, and will not affect the existing late arrival on Wednesdays. The students in each homeroom will also stay consistent throughout students’ high school experience. 

The district will send out two surveys next semester to get the opinions of students and educators, so that the Board can re-evaluate and adjust homerooms the next academic year. District administrators seem to be confident that although they are taking time from academic classes, the implementation of these classes will be rewarding for students. 

Lilly Hanslik, a junior at Naperville North, says that she’s grateful for the opportunity to get some school work done during the day, especially as a student athlete.  

“I know for my athletic season and for other seasons, we don’t really have time after school to get stuff done. So hopefully the homeroom will give us that opportunity,” Hanslik said.

Homerooms, according to the district, will strengthen skills like executive functioning and time management. Although these have been talked about before in classrooms, some students are grateful for the refresher.

“I want just a review about it, especially for the upperclassmen, since sometimes you forget those aspects. So that’d be nice to go over that again,” Hanslik said.

Many students at Naperville North are not as optimistic about the implementation of the new schedule. NNHS senior Brock Cremer expressed his worries about the schedule disrupting the routine students have been accustomed to after finally being back in school full time.

“It just makes everything more complicated and stressful for everyone and gives teachers less time to teach and students less time to do anything. I don’t get it,” Cremer said.

The homeroom’s goals align very closely with the mandatory freshman program, Huskie Crew. Very few students expressed enjoying Huskie Crew,  which could bring some students to dread the addition of the homeroom– Naperville North junior Elena Ghossiani is one of those students.

“I think it will be like Link Crew [now known as Huskie Crew] all over again. And I don’t know anyone who actually enjoyed that, even the Link leaders. I don’t think they even liked being there. It just doesn’t seem like a good idea,” Ghossiani said.

Although student opinions vary, the schedule is set to begin with the start of the second semester in January. Access the district’s presentation of the new schedule, including the new weekly bell schedule, here.

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