PRIDE schedule coming next year, Strout says

Thomas Tait '22, Editor-in-Chief

Despite the rumors that have been circulating amongst the student body at WTHS, the district has not made any plans to forego implementing the new PRIDE schedule for the 2021-22 school year, according to principal Jonathan Strout.

When asked if there are any plans to move away from the PRIDE schedule next year, Strout said simply, “No,” then continued. “The plan is to run the PRIDE schedule next year.”

Strout explained that any rumors about a plan to move away from the new schedule next year stem from discussions over student safety during the unit lunch period should social distancing and masks still be necessary next school year.

The PRIDE schedule has students attending three classes in the morning and three in the afternoon, with an almost hour-long lunch period in the middle of the day. All students would eat, study, and interact during this unit lunch period. This unit lunch period was the root of concern among administration in recent weeks, a problem that needed to be solved in order for the PRIDE schedule implementation to continue as planned next year.

According to Strout, in a normal “straight eight schedule” (the schedule from previous school years), there are approximately 117 students per cafeteria.

“There is no way you can possibly socially distance with 117 [students].”

Strout said that the solution to this problem in the eyes of administration is to continue as planned with the PRIDE schedule. Administration is planning to open more areas to eat beyond the normal cafeterias and is brainstorming ways to manage capacity of the different areas to ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed.

Strout also expects changes to be made to the PRIDE schedule released in early 2020, though the specific changes are still under review.

As scheduling began a few weeks ago, many students were told by their counselors that the PRIDE schedule was no longer happening next year. Strout explained, “the counselors did as they were directed to do…At that time it was like ‘we can’t wrap our heads around how we could possibly do this safely,’ but I think we’re in a much better place right now.”

Strout also added that counselors were redirected to schedule with the PRIDE schedule in mind once again.

“I fully expect that the PRIDE schedule launches in September,” he said.