The beginning of the West Potomac’s 2015-2016 year has brought a multitude of changes, impacting students, parents, and teachers alike. Apart from the new bell schedule, the most noticeable difference from last year is probably the school’s decision to shift wolverine time to a new time slot, before third period and after 1st/2nd period. In addition to this, there is now a 15 minute period after the first block which students can use to purchase and eat breakfast.
So why did the school make such a drastic scheduling change? According to Emily Millians, WPHS Administrator of Special Projects, Wolverine Time was placed before third period to help students getting breakfast during the 15 minutes prior.
“In an ideal scenario, all of the buses get to school before 8:00, and students can get breakfast in the cafeteria before they have to go to class.”
However, Ms. Millians acknowledged that we aren’t living in a perfect world, and that the 15 minutes were added to ensure that the students arriving after 8:00 don’t have to worry about being late to class because they wanted to get breakfast. And since students will be getting food during the 15 minute break, administration thought it best to move wolverine time to the time window directly after the breakfast period, to act as a buffer of sorts.
Although these changes were made with the best intentions, many students and even some teachers have been voicing their displeasure about them.
“As of right now, I’m a little weary of it,” English and Film Studies teacher Mr. Zachary Reves commented. “It can be hard to transition students from a relaxed time to a classroom setting.”
“My teacher doesn’t even care about it,” senior Julissa Mendez said. “It’s pretty much a waste of time at this point.”
“I would definitely change it back to the way it was last year,” junior Andrew Wolverton commented. “It’s so much better to have a break later in the day.”
Some students also criticized the 15 minute breakfast period.
“Breakfast time? It’s a waste of 15 minutes for the majority of students,” sophomore Kevin O’meara said, sounding slightly annoyed. “I don’t even know anyone that uses the time for that!”
Kevin isn’t the only student who thinks the time added for the most important meal of the day could have been put to better use.
“I’m not even aware that it was used for that purpose,” junior Jonathan Giron remarked. “I doubt many people use the time to get food.”
Although Giron said he saw the benefits that a breakfast period could have for lower income students, he still highly doubts that many students will be using the time for that purpose.
Despite the fact that many students harbor negative attitudes towards the breakfast period, the WPHS staff have been more than ready to defend the fledgeling initiative.
“I see it as necessary, students need to eat breakfast,” Mr. Reves stated. “It’s a focus issue, students need a chance to get energy into their systems.”
History teacher Mrs. Chill had similar thoughts.
“The new breakfast time is a great opportunity for students to get sustenance for school.” She said, quite optimistically. “I can really see this making a difference for some students.”
Regardless of what students think now, only time will tell if these substantial changes were the right move for our school. So for now, bon appétit!