Thousands of public school students are heading back to class Wednesday morning, but for Kaimuki High School on Oahu, it marks a new era.
They’re implementing a new schedule that affects everything, from the start of school to the length of class time.
The Department of Education (DOE) says Kaimuki High School is the first public school to make this change, and KHON2 wanted to know how it’ll work.
Education officials are calling the new system a “modular schedule.”
They say one of the goals is to allow students to learn at their own pace, while preparing them for college.
“We went into this in mind to make our school the best it can be for our kids,” said Kaimuki High School principal Wade Araki. “I could see it working at a lot of different high schools.”
In the past school started at 8 a.m., but now classes will begin later at 8:58 a.m. and school will end later at 2:50 p.m.
“With this system we are putting the on the student to move at the right time, to do their own study to become self reliant to move at their own pace,” said Kaimuki High School registrar Gary Oyler.
The school will also be getting rid of bells signalling the end of class.
“I think it gets them more prepared for life after high school because with flexibility such as this they know what they are expected to do and what kind of thinking they need to demonstrate,” said teacher Chu Hong.
The changes don’t end there. In the past, class was 80 minutes long, but this school year, it will now vary between 32 minutes and 80 minutes.
“We have a system of modules set up that are 16 minutes long and they can be added together 2, 3, 4 depending on how many each course needs,” Oyler said. “We want to make sure the kids are actually competent in whatever subject they are in and some kids move faster and some move slower, in order to allow them to do this we started this modular system.”
With so much freedom for students, KHON2 wanted to know if there were any concerns, especially with a system that has never been seen.
“We understand at the beginning there will be some issues, we are sure, but we have done a lot of work on the attendance policy, how the movement between course to course will work and we are confident that it is not going to be a problem,” Oyler said.
Conclusively, school officials say the later start time will cut back on tardies.
KHON2 also reached out to the DOE to find out if any other school could be making a change to modular schedules in the future.
School officials say there is room for other school to make a request.