At the end of the previous school year, Financial Literacy was redesigned to be a 2.5 credit course, the state requirement, and the Board of Education decided students would be allowed to take this course during their study hall. These students alternate between going to class and staying in study hall for each four day cycle. In other words, a student will attend Financial Literacy for four days then go to study hall for the next four, and the pattern repeats.
Financial Literacy can still be taken online over the summer, but the decision to allow students to take it during study hall was made to accommodate those enrolled in a similar elective all four years, like Band or art.
Music students also schedule lessons during study hall with their teachers to practice their respective instruments. “Financial Literacy was designed to meet every other cycle all year so students in music classes could still schedule music lessons, and that has been a little rougher than anticipated,” guidance counselor Lee Riley said.
“There are so many students and three bands, so I can only schedule lessons in certain periods to begin with. There isn’t much make-up time and if they miss their lesson because of Financial Literacy, I have to make it up some other way and it’s hard to do that,” Band teacher Mark Bencivengo said.
Band lessons are scheduled once a week during a student’s study hall on a given letter day. Having a full letter cycle taken up by Financial Literacy makes it difficult for Band students to maintain their weekly lessons. “People who currently have this problem have to schedule lessons during lunch time, which on top of a lunch lab, can be very cumbersome,” senior Nicolaus Stalzer said.
Students not enrolled in Band classes, however, find the schedule to be very manageable and enjoy that the course can be taken during study hall. “I don’t care about missing my study halls every other week because I don’t get much work done during study hall anyway. It’s too loud and crowded,” junior Megan Foley said.
As the schedule rotates for Financial Literacy students, the teachers see a certain group of students during the first letter day cycle and a different group during the second. As one group of students goes to class for that week, the other stays in study hall. “I always have to remember what I said to the kids at the end of the cycle, so in eight to ten days when I see them again, I can start where I left off,” Financial Literacy teacher Deborah Kavanagh said.
This is the first year a class has been allowed to be scheduled during study hall, and Kavanagh finds it difficult to acclimate herself to this type of class. “The scheduling has been a little difficult for me and the students. I think I would rather have a half year of the same kids and then the second half with new kids, so my lessons can keep in order,” Kavanagh mentioned. “We haven’t gotten used to it yet, none of the teachers have.”