Cody High School Switches To Trimesters


The 2018/19 school year doesn’t have just new teachers. Trimesters were also introduced. So far, they seem to fit well within the school, but how long will they hold up?

For one, an issue already arose: scheduling holes. The holes happen when students sign up for classes and they can’t fit them all due to conflicts. For example, this year I had two holes because I signed up for three CHS Bonfire hours, but I didn’t get into two due to other classes having priority. Core classes have priority over electives because they are needed to graduate. Sometimes, students don’t get into the desired cores either. For example, if you are the go-getter type and want to take AP Chemistry and AP Biology in the same year you can’t. They’re offered at the same time. CHS Bonfire now is harder and almost impossible to put into your schedule year round. I am taking two independent studies where the holes in my schedule are for CHS Bonfire. Trimesters created more opportunity, but they also create quite a few conflicts.

I noticed two of my honors classes, French 3 and Advanced Composition, are split between trimester one and trimester three. They’re difficult courses, and them being split between two trimesters with one in the middle isn’t ideal. Especially with a foreign language, I may forget the material I learned between the first trimester and the third trimester. It’ll be difficult to come back to French with a trimester between. One may suggest studying over the trimester-long break, but for me, this will be difficult. My course load is increased by another class period. That means I will have five classes giving homework every night and then I study French and Advanced Composition as well. This would be very difficult. I am in demanding extracurriculars, so that poses another issue with this solution. On the other hand, my US History 2 class I take in consecutive trimesters but with different teachers. With the 12 week period where I take it from one teacher, the switch might be difficult. Having two teachers will affect the way I learn. In the middle of a course, all of a sudden a new teacher is teaching the material in a whole different manner. It will shift our focuses.

“It was just getting the school management program that we have and then switching it over to trimesters. Then, figuring out how that’s going to work with the computer system. Some classes were scheduled all year like Synergy, Band, Percussion Ensemble, and if you’re a percussionist you probably have in the first tri percussion. Then, when we get to two and three you’re going to be going into regular band which is in another block. It’s just figuring out all those little bugs, things that we didn’t foresee that showed up,” said Mrs. Day, one of the high school counselors. Right now, all of these small issues are here but may not last. This is the first year so there’s bound to be problems.

Every day with Trimesters there are five blocks and four out of the five the teacher is teaching, the fifth they have a planning period to plan, grade, etc. Classes are also now 77 minutes Mon-Weds. On Thursdays they’re 73 minutes, and on Fridays they’re 57 minutes. Teachers are teaching more but have less time to prepare. Could this pose an issue within CHS?

In a KCWY interview, Jeremiah Johnston, the school principal, explained, “Declining budgets are causing staff reductions, and at Cody High School, the block schedule really takes a high number of staff to run it.”

Budget cuts and reduced staff are the main factors causing the change. These are large issues affecting the everyday way a school runs, so the change will be beneficial. Even if this is the case, will the change be here for the long haul? Despite all the problems associated with trimesters, I’m content, I enjoy the class length and the new opportunities the trimesters give, but just because I’m happy doesn’t mean everyone is.