New schedule makes good impression

High hopes for Park’s new Wednesday schedule


Jana Faust

Students play basketball in open gym option during Action Wednesday Sept. 28. Action Wednesday is a way for kids to build community.

Taylor Voigt

This school year, it was decided that Park Connections will be switched from previously three days a week, to just on Wednesdays. The old format of “Action Thursday” during Thursday’s Park Connections time is now changed to “Action Wednesday” at the end of seventh hour.

Principal LaNisha Paddock said that having Park Connections three times a week was too often, so consolidating it to one day made more sense.

“It was a lot of transitions three times a week,” Paddock said. “We heard feedback from both students and staff. We thought it just made sense to make more of a flex Wednesday, where you’d have shorter periods. You’d still see all your teachers, but then you’d have that one time to connect and build relationships in Park Connections and classes.”

Sophomore Ryan Steinberg said he was excited to have shorter class periods, but that there were still certain drawbacks.

“It feels more manageable to get through them all,” Steinberg said. “At the same time, it does feel like there’s nine periods now in the day and not only seven, which makes it more challenging sometimes.”

English teacher Christoph Nordmark said it can be more difficult trying to schedule around Action Wednesdays.

“As a teacher, I have to be more thoughtful about what I do because I can’t do as much as I would on another day,” Nordmark said. “So my next week is out of order just to accommodate that.”

Paddock said that in the creation of the new Wednesday schedule, she paid attention to the responses she had gotten the previous year.

“We got a lot of feedback from students about Action Thursdays,” Paddock said. “They really liked having something to do that was not like (regular classes). It was interest space, and they were doing it with their teachers and were able to build relationships in a different way with various teachers and other students.”

Steinberg said adjusting the length of Park Connections would be an advantage for students.

“Often, it feels like there are activities that are team building and that don’t need the full time,” Steinberg said. “We could have class times that are closer to the normal ones, but it’s still better to have connections only one day a week.”

With the transition between schedules, Paddock said that administration has been needing to make sure students are aware of the expectations for Action Wednesday.

“There was some clarity that needed to happen the first week,” Paddock said. “People were like, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna choose to go to the gym.’ We’re just working out kinks, because then if (the student is) not interested, there’s less motivation to go. And with clarity with students that first week, we really wanted to make sure that it was clear … yes, you have to go.”