Goodbye Tris!


On the left is a typical trimester day, while on the right is the structure of a typical semester day.

Lindsey Yucha, Senior Editor

Goodbye Tris! While the details are still in negotiation, next year Lake Shore High School will begin semesters. Semesters break the school year into two half terms, compared to trimesters that break the school year into thirds. 

Regarding the daily routine of semesters, the school remains unsure of the exact layout of a regular day. Janelle Bross, principal of Lake Shore High School, commented, “We are not sure about that yet. All of the details have to go through negotiation, so as the union and central office work on the contract for teachers next year they will be figuring that out. I do not believe we will be in a block schedule. We do not think our staff is excited about that idea, so we will probably see a pretty standard looking day, but the details are still to be figured out.”

Despite the specific details being unknown, Bross believes students will have six classes per semester. Six classes leave students with one extra class during their day compared to five classes per day in trimesters. In addition, Bross revealed hybrid courses, off-campus courses, along with off-campus lunches will not be impacted by the change to semesters. Therefore, students do not have to worry about these being removed from their schedule.

However, some classes offered at Lake Shore do not adequately match a semester schedule. Certain one trimester courses may be too short in duration to fit into an entire semester. To solve this issue, those classes too short to fit into a semester may be absorbed into a broader category. Moreover, classes that are two trimesters, such as U.S. History, are likely to be turned into full-year courses. There is no plan to eliminate many classes, yet the classes may look different next year. 

As the change may seem colossal to students who are used to trimesters, Bross assures students will not struggle to adapt, “No, the nice thing about when we change schedules is that we adjust for the credits. If a student is in good standing when we switch to semesters then they will still be on track for graduation. If a student had a really rough freshman year this year then they will still be facing challenges just like they would be facing challenges if we stayed with trimesters.”

Nevertheless, the topic of not being able to make up failed courses is a concern amongst students right now with the discussion of semesters. Bross explains there is no need to be concerned, “There will be plenty of time to make up classes. We are looking to align our required credits with the state of Michigan. Right now Lake Shore requires more credits than the state of Michigan requires. By aligning with the state, we will still be creating more opportunities for our students next year, they will still have plenty of time to make up classes either during the school year or during summer school as they have in the past.”

With semesters fast approaching, students will need to adapt to the change in schedule. Bross spoke on the topic of students adjusting to the change in schedule, “I do not think there is much we are going to have to do. It is a longer-term but overall the structure of the day remains the same they are still moving from class to class the class periods will be shortened a little bit, but really there is not a huge change for our students, thankfully.”

Even though semesters are official, the fine print will need to be worked out and improved as time progresses. Students will have to learn to switch from trimesters to semesters, which may take time. Semesters will require a learning curve for both the school and the students.