Breaking Down Rumors for the Future of SWHS


Greta Lewis

South Windsor High School and Wapping (SWHS Annex) campus where students will be walking back and forth starting next year.

Greta Lewis, Staff Writer

South Windsor High School is anticipating some big changes in the near future for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year.  Students may be taking some of their classes in the Wapping (SWHS Annex), due to necessary expansion of the school. 

A new schedule that reflects these changes for students and staff is currently being thoroughly planned and discussed amongst the scheduling committee. The official layout of the schedule is not yet finalized; however, the community already has opinions on the matter. 

Anger stirs among the student body, as rumor has it that ninety-minute classes will be in effect next year. Students feel that a new schedule will have a negative impact on both students and staff. “Students can barely sit through [their] lunch periods, I can’t imagine having that all day for every class. It is an unrealistic expectation for students to be able to focus for that long,” said sophomore Lauren Graham.  

An opposing perspective comes from biology teacher, Mrs. Sarah Davies. “[I] actually don’t mind the longer classes. It would make things easier because instead of taking two classes to do a lab, [they] could do it in one day.” 

Despite the opinions shared by the community, Mr. Michael Webb, English teacher and schedule committee member, aims to quiet rumors, establishing “everything isn’t official yet…the biggest concern is that we want to do what is best for kids; it involves what’s best from a learning and social standpoint.” 

Webb stated that students should be mindful of decisions that staff in the building are discussing, as it causes more stress than ease, and more trust should be put into the hands of the adults in the building. 

“We have to be respectful that students aren’t robots, and nor are we. The committee has been mindful that there are humans behind this…I don’t believe that a schedule that is impractical will be put out…a ninety-minute marathon is not what is going to happen, kids need to trust us,” said Webb.

The planning of a new schedule is complicated due to contradictions between what is best for each individual, according to Webb.

There are currently inequalities in the schedule; we want to better align the classes…It’s a complicated thing; it’s hard to meet the needs of teachers of every subject.

— English teacher and schedule committee member, Mr. Webb

Addressing the physical aspect of the plans, guidance counselor Mr. Nathan Briggs brought the large concern of safety into play. According to Briggs, since students will be moving back and forth between the Wapping (SWHS Annex) and the SWHS building, “safety comes into account. Kids are going back and forth between parking lots…reducing transitions reduces potential safety concerns and walking distance.” 

Briggs also discussed further plans on the changes Wapping (SWHS Annex) will undergo over the summer in order to meet student needs next year. “One thing that will be happening is upgrading the technology in the building over the summer.” 

Principal Mr. Frank Rizzuto explained the motivation for these changes, along with what he hopes to provide for the school as a principal. The first motivating factor is a balance between classes containing lunch waves and instructional time in the classes who do not have lunch waves in hopes to create a fairer schedule that meets the needs of students and teachers. 

Another factor that he is trying to be mindful of  is the amount of passing time students will need due to walking back and forth between the main building and Wapping (SWHS Annex).

Most importantly, Principal Rizzuto says his main goal as a principal is trying to balance out stakeholder desires or wishes with the bell schedule needs and what a schedule must be able to do. That is the balancing act that needs to take place.  These decisions were made in collaboration. Principal Rizzuto has met with a scheduling committee that reviewed schedule possibilities, a student advisory group was also asked for input and feedback was received from a parent advisory group.