This year, Marlborough formed the Student Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC), a student committee to gather student feedback about academic life, including students reactions to the new schedule change. The students who will serve on the committee—two girls from every grade and three from 12th—were self-nominated and then chosen by the faculty.
The committee members report to the Education Council, (EC) a committee of department heads and other administrators, on students’ workload. Previously, reports on student opinions to EC were either collected in surveys or passed along from students to teachers to department heads.
According to 10th Grade Dean Tom Millar, who serves as the advisor to SAAC, this new system ensures that “students’ voices will be a little more clear.”
Especially with the changes brought about with the new schedule—inconsistent lunch times, longer classes, a schedule that no longer makes alphabetical sense and classes only meeting three times a week—student opinions are important for the EC to have.
The aim of the new schedule is to reduce stress by reducing homework, but some students say they are disappointed with the confusion that accompanied these changes.
“The problem with the new schedule is Marlborough girls are so used to consistency,” Symone’14 said. “Yet this new schedule is not consistent.”
Additionally, some students, including Caroline ’14, dislike relying on their planners due to the unpredictable rotation.
“Everyone’s always confused about what’s coming next,” Caroline said. “People are like, ‘I thought it was E period, but it’s actually F because they’re switched.’”
And while fewer classes in a day means less homework every night, some students worry about the potential drawbacks of classes meeting fewer times per week.
Teachers in all departments have had to adjust to the new schedule by eliminating nearly 30 nights of homework. Each teacher has approached this differently, and the English Department eliminated a novel from nearly every course.
India ’12 said her English IV Honors: Shorter 19th Century Russian Masterpieces class will not be reading Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev this year because of the fewer class periods. Yaffe said that although she appreciates that the class will spend more time on each novel, she wishes she could have had the chance to read Fathers and Sons.
“I really like literature, and it’s really sad that they cut a novel,” India said.