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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

New schedule among changes for 2023-24 school year

As both students and teachers filed back into the classroom for the 2023-24 school year, science teacher Timothy Hughes is revising how he will space out his lessons now that the school is back to having six periods a day. 

“With the hour-and-a-half classes, we would have to plan to fit two lessons in one day in a sense to make sure that we were going to get all that going and really chunk out things,” Hughes said. “I think with the newer schedule, kids’ attention spans are a little better.” 

When the school year began on Aug. 14, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) returned to a six-period schedule after two years of being on a 4×4 schedule. Last semester, the Local School Leadership Council made this decision in hopes that year-long classes will allow students, especially those taking Advanced Placement classes, to learn course material over a longer period of time. 

“I think I’m hearing from students that they’re not quite used to the shorter 60 minutes yet,” counselor Martina Torres said. “They’re barely into something and the bell rings, so it’ll take us a while to get back on track with being on a six-period day.” 

With the new schedule comes new classes and new faculty and staff. DPMHS has now filled its math teacher position following an almost two-year vacancy. Portuguese and AP African American studies are now available for students to take. AP Environmental Science is not being offered this year because former science teacher James Morrison is now the school’s magnet coordinator after the departure of Natalie Berghoudian this summer.

Breakfast in the Classroom will also no longer be offered during period 1. Instead, students now have a 15-minute break between second and third period to grab breakfast food from the cafeteria. 

While the 4×4 schedule meant students operated on a quarter system, where they had one set of classes during the first semester and another during the second, the six-class schedule changed this. Under the new schedule, students have the same set of six classes for the entire school year. The schedule also extended the school bell by eight minutes, with school ending at 3:38 p.m.

With the 4×4 schedule, Advanced Placement students had only half the year to learn the material in preparation for the exam, with fall semester classes ending months before the exam in May. Now, students have an entire year to learn the material. 

“I think one huge benefit is the teachers have a longer period to get to know the students,” Torres said. “And I think that really helps in terms of making that connection and establishing that relationship.” 

Due to the increase of classes per day, this also means class periods have been shortened. Under the 4×4 schedule, students had 90 minutes of class time, whereas now they have 60. The quicker class pace is proving helpful for some students. 

“When things are shorter, I can focus more,” sophomore Jacob Ruiz said. “When things are longer, I’m always looking at the clock.” 

However, the schedule change creates some conflict for student athletes. With the new schedule change, DPMHS no longer operates on the same time that Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS) does. This means student athletes, who play on BCCHS teams, must choose between dropping both fifth and sixth-period classes or coming late to practice. 

“I play volleyball so it negatively affects me now,” senior Cheyanne Losino said. “I’m going to have to drop another period or I’m going to have to show up late to practice. So I’ll probably end up dropping the class, but it sucks.” 

Despite its challenges, students hope that the change to year-long classes will eliminate the need to rush through coursework.

“Before it was like, everything was crammed and it was hard to learn because you also had to do well in the class, learning everything really fast,” senior Monica Gonzalez said. “It’s better because now we have the whole year to plan or to learn.”

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About the Contributors
Satenik Ayrapetyan
Satenik Ayrapetyan, Managing Editor
Satenik Ayrapetyan is in her second year on staff, serving as the Managing Editor of The Pearl Post. She is in her junior year and serves as the National Honor Society’s Vice President and President of Pride Club. Additionally, she is also a member of the Los Angeles Times High School Insider Advisory Board. She is looking forward to a productive year on staff and hopes to be a good mentor to newcomers.
Maggie Simonyan
Maggie Simonyan, Sports Editor
Maggie Simonyan is The Pearl Post Sports Editor and this is her first year on staff. She currently serves as the school Student Body President, National Honor Society President and is the founder of the non-profit organization Armenian Youth Education Aid. During her free time, she likes to read books, go on runs and perform Armenian dances. As a senior in high school, she is most looking forward to preparing herself for college and life beyond this year.
Alan Ruiz
Alan Ruiz, Print Editor-in-Chief
Alan Ruiz, a senior, is so excited to work on The Pearl Post this year as the Print Editor-in-Chief. In his third year on the DPMHS Student Media staff, Ruiz is looking forward to refining the writing, editing and photography skills that will help him pursue a career in journalism. Outside of school, Ruiz participates in the Student Advisory Council for LAUSD Board District 3, contributes to the Los Angeles Zoo Teen Council for Conservation and manages his sports news YouTube channel called All Things Dodgers. He also enjoys organizing and volunteering at school events, playing baseball and spending quality time with family and friends.
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