The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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MTHS implements change to weekly PASS schedule

MTHS implemented a major change to PASS period scheduling this semester. PASS periods have been moved to Monday, Wednesday and Friday from their previous days of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The scheduling change was made after administration consulted a variety of staff members on their preferences for the distribution of PASS periods throughout the week.

The change was made through the teacher steering team, composed of the heads of the various teacher departments at MTHS.

“There are a couple of teachers that have brought [changing PASS scheduling] a number of times in the past…at the start of this year the change was agreed upon,” Schellenberg said. “[The decision] was earlier this year, in September and October.”

After the steering team made the decision, the administration set out to consult the various groups who would be affected by the change.

“We talked to and considered all of the different groups and areas of the school who the decision impacts, like food service, some transportation…our new electronic door system that we have is also impacted a little bit,” Schellenberg said.

A teacher survey was conducted to get formal feedback from the faculty on the proposed change. Once these results were presented before the teacher steering team, they approved the PASS scheduling change.

Administrators also personally talked to other potentially impacted staff members. Among those interviewed was the head of the kitchen.

“[The head of the kitchen] was all for [the PASS schedule change], and she said that a little bit later lunch on Monday would help,” Schellenberg said. “We’re a distribution center for food, so [food] gets prepared here and then sent out to other sites. If [the kitchen] had another 20 or 30 minutes [to prepare food], that was ideal.”

MTHS administration also ran a student survey on Canvas, and the results came back approximately as an even mix of those arguing for and against changing the weekly PASS schedule. However, the teachers reportedly heavily favored the change as a whole.

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Schellenberg explained that a primary rationale behind the change was providing more access to students seeking to connect with a teacher during a PASS period.

“In [the previous] model, if you are absent on a Friday, which is our largest day of both student and teacher absence, then you don’t have an opportunity to connect with a teacher during the school day until the following Wednesday,” Schellenberg said. “With the change to PASS on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, that’s automatically the first day returning [from the weekend] on Monday you get the chance to connect with a teacher.”

Another reason motivating the change was to promote greater student productivity during each PASS period.

“Wednesday, Thursday, Friday sorta feels like that’s three days in a row to get things done so that Friday often feels less productive than the periods on Wednesday and Thursday,” Schellenberg said. “Spreading [PASS periods] out makes it equidistant between each one, and provides the chance to possibly be a bit more productive.”

Schellenberg made sure to note that the change to PASS scheduling will be continuously evaluated throughout the remainder of the school year.

“We’ll evaluate [this change], we’ll ask for feedback along the way to see if people like it or if they don’t like it,” Schellenberg said. “I don’t think we’re locked in either way. We consider this a pilot; if it works well, great, if not then we don’t have to stick with it.”

Toward the end of the first semester, right before the change was implemented, the Hawkeye conducted an informal Instagram poll. The results verified the split views of the student body found by the administration’s student survey. Out of 74 responses, 39 approved of the change while 35 disapproved of the new PASS schedule.

As the change essentially is simply moving the Thursday PASS period to Monday, Schellenberg does not foresee any major disadvantages to the change besides a brief initial adjustment period. Since the change is minor, Schellenberg also predicts the change will lead to very few, if any, scheduling conflicts for Running Start students.

About the Contributor
Nolan DeGarlais, Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Nolan DeGarlais is in his senior year of high school and is a fourth-year staff member of the Hawkeye. This year, Nolan hopes to lead the Hawkeye in coverage of all of the events that have the potential to impact the school community. Nolan also hopes to further develop the Hawkeye as an editor and a leader by helping other staff members to be successful in all aspects of journalism, including writing, graphics, photography and design. Under his leadership, Nolan hopes that the Hawkeye will continue to shine as one of the top student publications in the state and nation. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies and spending time with friends.
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