Out With the Old: In With a New Weekend Schedule


The saying “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it,” takes on a positive connotation as boarding students at Darlington School will be granted the freedom of choice in their weekend activity schedule, which was initially announced on Sep. 2, 2018, by Head of Moser House; Weekend Activities Coordinator Doug Hamil. This change will allow students to decide on their desired destination by using a new bus routing system.

“The idea had been in my head for over a year,” Hamil said. “The decision to change the schedule was driven by giving the students more choices.”

With more choices, students are now able to select when and where they would like to go to certain destinations. No longer are they restricted by predetermined locations such as Walmart or Riverbend or limited to having a one-time slot to go somewhere they want. Consequently, with the new weekend schedule changes, arose a few new problems

“The big piece was just figuring out how to track students to know where they were so we didn’t leave nobody nowhere,” Hamil stated “And I let that piece prevent me from going through with the change.”

Eventually, however, Mr. Hamil quickly found the solution for keeping track of the students by having them log their names and destination requests in an online Google spreadsheet. This way every student in transit would be accounted for. Although, the solution in itself isn’t perfect, seeing as faculty members facilitating the runs have to use their smartphones to do the spreadsheet.

“The most difficult part for me on the new bus run, is keeping up with everyone on the shared spreadsheet with our phones,” Head of Thornwood House Karen Calvert said. “We really need the school to get us Ipads that are larger so that it’s easier to check off students and where they’re going.”

Additionally, the new weekend schedule now requires that drivers travel over two plus hours, as opposed to when they would only have to drive to one location waiting for the students to finish shopping and then return to campus. This has caused a few faculties to become burnt out from the constant transportation of students.

“Speaking as a faculty member it is very tiring driving a bus for three hours with no stops,”  Mrs. Calvert exclaimed.

The overexertion of drivers might be the source of a common issue amongst students concerning the new schedule. Which is lack of consistency with the pickup times.

“There have been times when a bus hasn’t come on time, and especially around this season it’s hot making the wait uncomfortable”, said junior Rhema Onyia. “I think I prefer the old schedule because I like to be picked up on time and don’t like to wait around for buses”.

Junior Michael Ugbe had a similar response.

“I haven’t been on a run yet, but I’ve heard getting people back on time has been a problem”.

However, apart from the buses occasionally not being on time, students have had a positive reaction towards the new changes. In fact, most students are taking pleasure in the fact that they may now go to their favorite places during times when they once couldn’t.

“I like that if it’s a Sunday and I need to go to Riverbend I don’t have to struggle to find someone to get me there,” junior Amaya Thompson stated, “Or that if I’m hungry in the middle of the day I know it’s not an issue because I’ll have transportation now.”

Even faculty recognize the value in the new schedule.

“I’m most pleased with the fact that students are taking advantage that they could go to multiple places instead of having only one location to choose from,”  Head of Regester House Kim Bell said.

As amazing as the opportunities provided by new weekend schedule have been, this is only just the beginning.

“Now that local choice based trips are set, the next step is implementing more outside of the area trips like to Atlanta and Chattanooga!”  Hamil said.