Students share end of year feelings about 4×4 schedule


Jazmine Valerio

Sophomores Desiree Spurkel and Monica Gonzalez give their presentation based on Santiago, Chile during Glenda Hurtado’s fourth period on June 8.

Jazmine Valerio

Senior Nadia Montiel is among the students who feel like the new 4×4 schedule was a blessing because there wasn’t as much stress compared to previous years.  

“The amount of time in class was a lot better and less stressful because we had more time to get work done,” Montiel said. “ There was also less homework at the end of the time because we have time to do it in class,” 

In the past, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) went by the semester system. This year, DPMHS switched to the mester system. Since there are only four 90-minute classes now compared to six, this means that there are longer classes due to the extra time. On a regular day, classes are 90 minutes long with a 33-minute lunch break. On shortened Tuesdays, classes are 63 minutes long with a 33-minute lunch break. On minimum days, classes are 58 minutes long with a 20-minute lunch break. 

However, not all students enjoyed the new schedule.

“I don’t really like the new schedule because classes are way longer than before,” sophomore Cinthya Rendon said. “I feel like having six classes would be fine since the classes would be shorter. I don’t even like being in a long class because I get tired of sitting for so long.” 

Teachers and staff have been dealing with the new 4×4 schedule in their own ways too. Staff on campus have had to change timelines with finals and when work should be due. Since October is the time for the first final of the year instead of December, teachers have to change when certain assignments are due. Academic counselor Martina Torres likes the new 4×4 schedule because of the way the schedule works out when it comes to focusing on classes. 

“I think it aligns very well with college schedules,” Torres said. “I think it offers the students the opportunity to focus on only four classes at a time, which can have many benefits. “

Along with this change, with each new mester, students will most likely have a whole new set of classes. For example, during mesters 1 and 2, a student may take English, math, an elective and PE. During the spring semester, the classes may be world history, chemistry, health and an elective. Instead of final grades being due at the end of each semester, grades are due at the 10-week mark. At the end of these 10 weeks, a new mester begins.

“The positive things I see are the fact that the kids can get through more classes during the course of a year,” Resource Center teacher Sadia Aziz said. “They also have more time in their class. But, I also see some kids who need that continuity of math and English throughout the year. We don’t have that with the 4×4 schedule.” 

Depending on the student, mental health among students has changed. Students on campus feel different since the start of the new schedule, in the sense that there is a feeling of stress. Some students feel that it has impacted their mental health negatively, while others feel that the schedule has not impacted their mental health at all. Depending on the situation, stress is a factor that can cause a student’s mental health to change. 

“The schedule was oddly less stressful,” sophomore Lauren Galvez. “ I can’t imagine doing six classes all in one year. I would prefer four classes a year because there is less build-up of homework and turning things in on time. There is also more time to work on homework in class due to the longer classes.”

Since there are only four classes taken every 10 weeks, Advanced Placement (AP) students had less time to prepare for their AP exams in May. This year, AP Literature and Composition was taken by juniors during the fall. This means that there is a four-month learning gap between the class and the exam. This made some students taking the exam feel unprepared. Students who took the AP exam tried their best to make sure they were prepared for the exam on their own and not in a classroom. 

“It (the schedule) affected my AP courses and stuff because there is only a semester to prepare for the exam, which isn’t very long,” Montiel said. “Since there is only one semester to prepare, it gets kind of heavy finishing an AP class in December when the exam was in May. It can be very confusing.” 

Everyone has their own opinions about the schedule but as the end of the year approaches and another year of the 4×4 schedule comes, students are unsure whether or not the schedule was a blessing or not. 

“I would want the schedule again because it’s less stressful and we have more time for each class to do our work,” freshman Noam Levi said.