MHS debuts KnightsQuest


By Garrett Baker, Round Table livestream executive producer

After months of debate, Middletown High School decided to add a fifth block known as KnightsQuest to each school day.  This block includes time for homework, tutoring, clubs and priority days for specific classes.

Around three years ago, the idea for KnightsQuest began to be developed by MHS administrators. After visiting multiple high schools around the county, such as Oakdale, Walkersville and Frederick, the positives of an extra block became apparent.

“We saw more and more high schools within the county including an additional learning time,” said MHS assistant principal Brooke Hontz. “[MHS] decided that it would be a good idea.”

Previously, the only opportunity for make-up work or tutoring was after school on the student’s and teacher’s personal time, instead of during the day; clubs were reserved for Fridays. Instead, clubs now have their own days, and tutoring is available every day by request.

“It provides an equal opportunity for students to get additional support if they need it,” added Hontz.

However, in this “practice year for us,” Hontz said, the extra period is still “bumpy,” and MHS is still figuring out how to run the period through this experimentation.

A possible addition for the future could be an area designated strictly for tutoring. At Oakdale High School, MHS advisors observed what Hontz called an “amazing student tutoring center,” where literary specialists along with National Honor Society members spent each day tutoring.

One of the debated issues about KnightsQuest in its current form is the time length; some say it is too short as others argue it is too long.

“There’s not enough time, and on priority days, people fight for kids,” said MHS special education teacher Stacy MacMillan.

MacMillan added that she enjoys the opportunity for one-on-one tutoring and a consistent schedule.

Students argue the benefits and negative aspects of the new fifth period. MHS sophomore Keegan Waters said, “There is less class time in regular classes,” but “there is now time to get homework done for later classes.”

The original planned time for KnightsQuest was 45 minutes, but it was shortened to 30 minutes to better fit the schedule.

They should make it longer,” said MHS senior Caroline Littrell. “Thirty minutes isn’t enough time.”

Laura Dodson, a freshman at MHS, said, “It could be shorter or longer, and it is at an awkward length.”

Hontz said, “We know that no matter what, we aren’t going to make every staff member or every parent or every kid happy. It’s just seeing what’s most beneficial for the school.”