Longer classes, longer days coming soon


EP Presnell

Beginning Jan. 19, Manual will switch to a five-day red/white schedule with longer class periods and two meetings per class each week. 

Graphic by EP Presnell.

In addition, Manual will keep its Crimson Hours day on Wednesdays. 

Each day, students will synchronously meet with all four classes for up to 50 minutes per class. 

To balance out the increase of synchronous class time, teachers’ office hours time will be reduced to 20 minutes taking place immediately following their class period. Teachers may be allowed to extend their class into this extra time if they wish to, which could mean 70-minute classes for some students.

Mr. Klingenfus later clarified that 70-minute classes should not be the norm for any class, and that teachers must obtain permission from administrators to extend their classes beyond the 50-minute limit.

“Some teachers may find that they can deliver synchronous information in less than 50 minutes, which — given the nature of NTI and screen time fatigue — will be allowed as well,” Mr. Klingenfus added.

According to Mr. Klingenfus, the district asked schools to audit their practices to help students transition back to in-person classes.

“When we took a close look at our two bell schedules, neither mirrored our regular in-person schedule throughout the entire week, so we agreed as an administrative team that we needed to adjust,” Klingenfus told RedEye in an email. 

Klingenfus also said that he believes the schedule will be easier on students for both the time being and if Manual returns back to in-person classes. 

“Some students have really struggled with the current schedules, for a multitude of reasons, so this will definitely simplify life for them. We also do not know exactly when or how the transition to in-person class will be conducted per JCPS, so we want to operate on one simple bell schedule in the event we have to quickly move from NTI to in-person and back to NTI again,” Klingenfus wrote in his email to RedEye. 

Teachers will be able to supplement synchronous instruction with asynchronous or “flipped” models, but synchronous classes must be offered and teachers must take attendance twice a week per class. 

Teachers are expected to decide an appropriate pace and workload but are encouraged to take students’ concerns into consideration. 

“We are still on NTI due to a pandemic and we need to continue being mindful of our students’ screen time and workload as it pertains to their social, emotional, and mental health,” Klingenfus said. 

This new schedule will be in place until Manual returns to in-person classes which could be as early as late February, according to JCPS.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to add Mr. Klingenfus’ clarifying comments in the fifth paragraph and his quote in the sixth paragraph.