NFHS Implements New Schedule for 2019-2020


Beginning next school year, NFHS will be implementing a new schedule to help both student and staff improve overall productivity and emotional and mental wellness.

Ramya Raja, News Editor

Starting next school year, North Forsyth High School will be implementing a new schedule in order to increase productivity and overall student and staff wellness. Two new programs called Raider Time and Wellness Wednesday will be implemented beginning the 2019-2020 school year. Raider Time will be a 37 minute class on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and an hour long block on Wednesday, serving as a daily block of time for students to catch up on missed work, get extra help and more. Wellness Wednesday will be a designated time period on Wednesday for students and staff to focus on their overall mental and emotional wellbeing.

Principal of North Forsyth High School, Jeff Cheney, is enthusiastic and greatly looking forward to the new schedule for next year. When asked what prompted the change of pace he says, “Our main schools goals, [including] improving student outcomes by strengthening and adjusting our instructional practices and implementing interventions based upon analysis of student assessment data.”

The reality of student life here at North is some students struggle academically  in core courses. The most common solution for this is for teachers to encourage students to come in early before school for extra help. However, for varying reasons, not all students have that ability. Some students lack access to transportation that enables them to come in early while others may lack the motivation and/or discipline. Having Raider Time on a daily basis designates extra time in the school day for students who fall into these categories.

The introduction of this schedule was a well-thought out concept that involved months of planning and the consideration of students. Counselors and administrators met with three different groups of students, all of whom varied in academic level, school involvement and career pathway, then asked them general questions about IF. The results concluded students had several different experiences with IF. Some students use the time to make up tests, get extra help and/or complete assignments. Some students use the time to relax and take a breath from their regularly busy schedules. Other students report that while they know they should be using their time more productively. A general consensus from these survey results was that most students, regardless of what they used it for, felt like they needed that time on a daily basis.

As the school year develops, Raider Time will be used for more than just a daily IF. Students will have the opportunity to focus on other academic achievements and attend sessions related to:

  • Test prep (EOC, SAT, ACT, AP exams)
  • Writing workshops
  • CTSO and Fine Arts Competition Preparation
  • Real World Activities
  • Guest Speakers
  • Daily/Weekly Planning

According to Mr. Cheney, the implementation of these concepts will better help “close the gaps for struggling students” and these options “will become choices for students to do during Raider Time.” Having taken into consideration students’ opinions and hoping to focus more on school goals, Raider Time is confirmed to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.

Another one of North’s overall school goals that Principal Cheney hopes to focus on is student mental and emotional wellness. Mr. Cheney describes how school stress anxiety is, “rising across the nation [because of] stress related to school, GPA and admissions, students are busier than they ever have been.” Therefore inciting the “big push to focus on student wellness,” and prompting the implementation of Wellness Wednesday.  

Wellness Wednesday is a designated time period for North students and staff to focus on overall wellness. Activities and programs will be implemented that are intentionally working with students to help find balance, be healthy and well. Some lesson plans will be activity based while others will be based on awareness of how to better one’s overall health.

Mr. Cheney hopes through the implementation of the new schedule, “Everyone finds value for students to take advantage of opportunities.” He mentions how it “initially was meant for at risk students, but as we surveyed groups of students, we realized even higher level students need this time.”