Why are We on this Quarter- by- Quarter Schedule?

Why are We on this Quarter- by- Quarter Schedule?

Ava Schmidt, Reporter

According to the Reintegration Committee, we are on this quarterly schedule because, as Mrs. Witzcak said, “The quarterly schedule allows us to safely be in person and meet with each class more than once a week. The usual schedule would put our community at a great physical health risk. Because our district values the health and safety of our students, their families, and extended communities, the quarterly schedule was the best option.” So it is mainly just to reduce the amount of possible spread if an outbreak were to happen. They did consider other options, for example, reducing the number of credits needed to graduate. Ultimately, the committee decided against it since this would be unfair to the upperclassmen. Of responses from faculty and staff, they all said that this condensed schedule has appeared to improve grades, since students are being pushed to do a lot of work in such a short amount of time, and also student resilience and tenacity, skills that will be very useful in college and the workforce. Alongside that, I also wondered: “Did they also take into consideration student and staff mental health?” (since it has been proven that low mental health can result in a weaker immune system) They stated “Of course mental health was taken into consideration”, but with the information that I have gathered, that seems to be proving itself untrue. 

A majority of the students do not like this schedule. Many reported that it is much more stressful because of how much work they have to get done in such a short amount of time. As one student put it, “this schedule feels like it’s going by too quickly. Sometimes, more or so by the end of the day/week, it feels like everything is piling on top of me and I can’t escape.” Someone also said that they have 3 core classes right now, which is pretty difficult to handle all at once. Moreover, a few students think that it is messy and quite an unorganized schedule, which makes it hard to do work in an organized manner. However, there were a few who did like it, many said that it is easier because it isn’t overwhelming and they get to deal with their harder classes at separate times, and being able to sleep in and get out earlier is a lot better than our previous school hours. As for mental health, an overwhelming amount of the students said that this schedule has made them much more stressed, resulting in people thinking that they are failures and even wanting to give up and just not even try anymore. It can be very hard to balance the amount of work that we have to do on top of other things such as work, family matters, and extracurricular activities; and piling a lot of work and a minimal amount of time to get that work done is not helping in the slightest. 

On the teacher side of things, it seems to be liked. Mr. Brown said that this schedule is much nicer because students aren’t being pulled in as many directions at once and only have to focus on 4 classes at a time, which, if they are willing to put the time and effort in, they can dive deeper into the class and learn more things than they may not have in a regular 8- period schedule. He also believes that if both the students and teachers are willing to take this as an opportunity for deeper learning, then it could be very beneficial, but only if they are willing to do that. Mr. Brown also thinks that if we are staying on this schedule for the long run (more than just this year), grades could improve, but for that to happen, there would need to be a few adjustments to the schedule. Mental health-wise, there has been some increased stress because he’s trying to figure out how to teach what he usually does in a semester, in a quarter. 

Unfortunately, the topic of this schedule and it relating to mental health seems to be quite the touchy subject noting that out of the 4 teachers I reached out to, only one responded. As we can see, this schedule is proving to not be as good as it was hoped to be. And while it is understood that this schedule is only put in place to keep everyone safe, this system has shown itself to be a challenging adjustment to many.