Hayes administration creates 2021-22 school schedule despite pandemic uncertainty

scheduling+board

Noah Sparkman

Each year, assistant principal Rex Reeder is tasked with assembling the master schedule for teachers. Reeder said the process is like putting together a giant puzzle.

Noah Sparkman, Staff Writer

Although many factors regarding the Covid-19 pandemic are still up in the air, Hayes is moving forward with a plan for next school year.
In a perfect world, students will be able to return to school as it was before Covid-19.
“Our ideal scenario would be to have what would look more like a regular school year for next year,” counselor Chris Downey said. “[It would] look more like what last school year did prior to us having to close in March.”
This would include all classes that have previously been offered, as well as the return of things like House and open lunch.
However, this is far from a certainty, and the district does not yet have a concrete plan for next year, due to the ever-evolving Covid-19 landscape.
“My best guess is that we are probably going to have to plan for a couple different contingencies,” Downey said. “We have our ideal; what we really hope that we’re able to do next year. Then there’s Plan B or Plan C, depending on where things stand with Covid.”
After spending this year on the hybrid and remote models, the administration expects that the transition back into full-time school will come with challenges. However, they are confident that they are ready to navigate them successfully.
One common concern among parents and students is how this year’s admittedly limited curriculum will affect students’ depth of knowledge in the coming years.
The school does not anticipate this being an issue, citing the staff’s knowledge of the situation as the factor that will negate this issue.
“The teachers understand that we have students coming in from different places and different experiences than past years,” Downey said. “There’s probably going to be a bit more review…that will definitely be adjusted compared to previous years.”
In addition, the freshman experience may seem more daunting than ever. While the transition from Dempsey to Hayes will not feel the same, Downey said he is confident that the students will not have any more or less of a burden on their shoulders.
“We set up a Canvas page for all the eighth grade students around scheduling information, and we’ll have our course handbook with a list of courses that all eighth grade students can take,” Downey said. “It’s what we do in a regular year. It’s just that the scheduling process itself is going to be more virtual.”
While the district is doing everything they can, there is an expectation of increased responsibility for the students in order to get school back to normal, particularly in terms of communication.
“I think communication has to pick up,” assistant principal Rex Reeder said. “We just have to work together and try to figure things out.”
Self-advocacy will also be vital for student success in Reeder’s eyes.
“If students need help, they need to let us know,” Reeder said. “Let your teacher know. Don’t take the test. Don’t let your grades beat you.”
This has been a challenging year for everyone, and students are ready to get back to a normal schedule.
“We used to have [free time] that we could use to get help, but now we have to go out of our way to get the extra help,” junior Emily Martineau said. “I feel like if we went back, it would be easier on students.”
Even though the specifics of next school year are still uncertain, one thing that has not wavered is faith in the staff and students of Hayes, and administrators say they are confident that the high school experience will be much more normal next year.
“I have confidence in our staff, and I have confidence in our students,” Reeder said. “It all comes back to us all talking and working through.”