Time for change

So much has changed in our school schedules since the onset of the pandemic. Yet as we look to the future, some of these changes might be worth keeping. Let’s find out which ones are.

Graphic by Emma Liu ’22/Staff

There’s no doubt that this school year has been different. From virtual to hybrid, our schedule has changed drastically. It has honestly been frustrating to see the schedule fluctuate so many times throughout the first semester, considering how different the two schedules have been. Commencing school at 9:00 a.m. makes a world’s difference from starting at 7:30 a.m. every day, and adjusting to each schedule switch has been quite a struggle. However, now that the schedule will (hopefully) be static for what appears to be the rest of the year, I want to move past the stresses of the first semester and look at the good.

It is my belief that one positive aspect of school that has come from the pandemic has been the five minute addition to the short break in between classes. Classes are challenging and students need time to decompress between them. Simply put, five minutes is just not enough time. Such may be enough time to walk to your next class, but it is certainly not enough time to fill a water bottle, use the bathroom, and walk to your next class, especially considering how big our school is. Additionally, if a student needs to finish up a test from their previous class, with the ten-minute break they could take five minutes to finish the assignment and five minutes to walk to their next class. For students who are Zooming, the ten-minute break is also very necessary for more obvious reasons—Zoom is hard to pay attention to for long periods of time and students need a breather from it. Overall, I believe the ten-minute break between classes is beneficial.

In my opinion, the pandemic can be looked at from many perspectives—we can either be sad about it or look at it as a learning experience. I seek to view it as the latter, and I hope the administration of the school can do the same thing regarding our daily schedule beyond the pandemic. Many new aspects of the schedule have been introduced because of the pandemic, and I hope the ones that were most successful can be implemented full time. I think that the school should observe how helpful ten-minute breaks can be and implement them full time. This process of improving can work in the other direction, too. The absence of Lunch & Learn every day has been hard, both academically and socially. Even though the Fridays we have right now are nice, I believe that Lunch & Learn every day is much better for students.

Finally, I believe that we can use the overwhelmingly positive feedback involving starting the school day at 9:00 a.m. as a reason to push school start times back. Later school start times truly make a difference in how alert students are, and even if we don’t push them back all the way to 9:00, any extra minutes of sleep in the morning will be immensely beneficial to a student’s success. All in all, I know that this pandemic has been hard for everyone, but I truly believe that we can take things away from it as a learning experience to help us grow and improve. I know I am, and I hope the school board and administration will too.