A new look to the school day

Advisory time faces changes again


Luke Loving

Passing time can be hazardous with the risk of COVID-19. Principal Williams has made it a point of interest to keep the students as safe as possible throughout the day. “With the COVID, I wanted to limit that extra movement. We’re already back, it’s already kind of new, and then you throw in an advisory, that’s a whole brand new group of kids that you have to worry about contact tracing,” Williams said.

Luke Loving, Reporter

Just because something isn’t broken, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. For the past few years, advisory time has been constantly changing. There were different ways to pick your teachers and there were different times of the day in which it took place. With the latest addition of fifth block however, advisory time has an official new look. 

Principal Cory Williams implemented a new advisory time that takes place after fourth block. The new name of this intervention time is fifth block. Williams hopes fifth block will be beneficial to students.

“Once we get started with this new term, the goal will be to give kids the chance to almost use it as a study hall and get work done,” Williams said. “[…] and then as we see, maybe kids need really intense help with math or a different subject area, we have what’s called our lead teachers here that we’re going to make available, and they’re going to run like mini tutoring sessions.” 

“We’re going to try to limit all of the movement around […] but it’s extra time throughout the day. It helps us take care of some housekeeping items, we can do announcements then, we can do advisory,” Williams said.

Davenport North High School and Davenport Central High School are also always changing their intervention time. Central is having theirs at the end of the day as well, while North is having theirs before fourth block. However, both high schools have intervention times on Wednesdays. 

“I don’t think it’s necessary [to have advisory time on Wednesdays] right now. Mr. Orfitelli made a schedule for a Wednesday advisory,” Williams said. “[…] but what’s the purpose of that and it really makes the classes short. You know it would make the classes less than an hour long; and that’s okay, but I want to maximize instructional time, not waste instructional time.” 

While there was no advisory time on Wednesdays last year either, other changes were made. Last year’s intervention time was known as Falcon Flex and it allowed students to choose which class to go to throughout the week during Falcon Flex time. There were many reasons why last year’s intervention time was switched to fifth block. 

This is the new schedule that was put in place on February 15th. It is not much different from last year’s schedule besides the new intervention time. “I would put [smart block] after first or second [block] because that’s when most students are here during the day,” senior Mason Lantz said.

“[Falcon Flex] is a good system, but the piece that we took attendance on and the piece that you guys scheduled with is really expensive, so I didn’t want to pay for that anymore […] and it was kind of cumbersome because it didn’t match up with our Infinite Campus,” Williams said. “It was just a lot of unnecessary work.” 

“I used to be an elementary principal and elementary teachers are great at those interventions,” Williams said. “But our teachers aren’t super trained on that so it wasn’t really effective. So I thought, it’s going to be better right now if we just do [fifth block] as extra time in the class.”

The new fifth block has been responded to differently by teachers and students. Math teacher Lindsey Gosse is ready for the new fifth block.

“I’m excited to get my kids back for half an hour and I can work with kids that need interventions and extra time to go over stuff or retakes or whatever. Extra time with the students is always good,” Gosse said. “[Last year] kids would schedule themselves for classes they didn’t have just cause they wanted to hang out with their friends or with certain teachers and so then, we’d plan for like really great intervention for you know Algebra I and I’d have a bunch of Calc kids sitting in here.”

While Gosse was ready for a change, there were students who weren’t. Junior Kyler Sparks enjoyed how intervention time was set up last year. 

“[Fifth block] is okay, it depends on what class and if you’re struggling in a class it can help you; but if you have a good grade, you just sit there in the class,” Sparks said. “I like last year cause like if you have nothing to do in class like if you have a good grade, you can just go chill in the class with your friends and stuff.”

Principal Williams is not sure if the new fifth block will be effective. Other times for fifth block were considered, but Williams thought it would be best to put it at the end of the day. 

“I mean let’s try [fifth block]. It’s not super effective cause it’s really difficult to run true interventions at high school because it’s so big because only a small handful of our kids need an actual intervention,” Williams said. “[…] to make the other 1400 kids, 1300 kids go somewhere that they don’t really need to go, and they know they don’t need to go, that’s tough.”