The Effect of the Six-Period Day on Music and World LanguageNext year's new six-period day may have a disproportional effect on music and world languages classes.
By: Talia Milavetz, Sibley Scribe
I am an active student in Henry Sibley’s choir. Like many students who participate in a music class at Sibley, I have experienced many benefits that come from these electives. When I learned that Sibley was switching over to a six-period day next year, I became anxious. I wondered how I would still be able to take choir and fulfill all of my graduation requirements. I thought that there is no way this six-period day is going to be good for electives. It seems that the six-period day could create a decline in the enrollment of music electives, though Sibley is trying to make these classes accessible for students if they are committed to taking them.
I knew a big issue for some students would be taking both a world language and music elective. Even with a seven-period day, some students end up dropping a music class because they can’t fit it into their schedule with a world language. This is going to be especially problematic for sophomores who must also take gym and health as two of their electives. As a sophomore, the average student will need to take a full year of language arts, social studies, science, and math, as well as a semester of both gym and health. This fills up five periods out of six. That leaves two semesters open for electives. Most students are probably going to choose to take world languages, as colleges tend to look for students with at least two to three years of a foreign language. This could decrease the amount of students in music classes; once a student drops out of music for a year, he / she is less likely to reenroll.
However, for a committed student, it is possible to take both a world language and music, even during sophomore year. Henry Sibley hopes to create more “hybrid” class options for students who wish to take full advantage of the electives available to them. The hybrid option allows students to attend a class on Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday (or Tuesday, Thursday and every other Friday), and also complete online coursework. These students would be taking two hybrid classes at a time in order to open up time in their schedule for an elective. Hybrid classes will be available to all sophomores, juniors and seniors, but priority will be given to foreign language and music students. Another option that is sometimes less appealing for students is to take a summer class. Students who get classes done in the summer will have an extra free slot in their schedule to take both a world language and music elective, and Sibley is trying to offer more for-credit summer courses in the coming years.
Even though it will take more work to participate in both of these electives, it is well worth it to be able to take a music class. Next year, even though the schedule is switching to six hours instead of seven, the school day will still be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:04 p.m. Passing time will still be four minutes while the amount of time in a class period will extend to approximately 55 minutes per class.
Having a musical outlet during the day, such as band, choir, or orchestra can really increase students’ ability to concentrate. In my opinion it is well worth it for students to figure out how to take both a music class and a world language class within the framework of the new schedule.