A Return to Normality?

Image credit: Depositphotos

Image credit: Depositphotos

Jasmine Porter, Staff Writer

Despite the slew of updates to schooling, schedules, and policies Warren staff and students endured last month, most have found relative stability. Even the recent increase to 50% in-person capacity has had little impact on the day-to-day experience. This uneasy peace, however, has been interrupted by rumors that the district is considering the return to an 8-period school day in March. Certainly, this must be good news? After all, it would be one of the final steps needed to restore some semblance of a typical academic year.

Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward.

There is no dispute that it has been almost a year since students have had a schedule of average length and difficulty, a hindrance to learning. Nevertheless, this statement could alternatively be used to argue against 8 periods. After months of 4 classes per day, a normal schedule appears alien to Warren highschoolers forced to become accustomed to remote education. That is not to say that some do not long for a typical school experience; indeed, feelings of unpreparedness are common amongst Blue Devils. One may even state that freshmen, in terms of adjusting to the workload and responsibilities of higher education, are being impacted most negatively by a lack of proper structure. This, however, has not directly translated into a desire for 8-periods. Rather, some such as this anonymous freshman expressed little eagerness for the above: “[I would feel] stressed and overwhelmed with a full schedule. We already receive enough work as is, why would we risk having more? This goes without saying that we would not have enough time to learn all of the content thoroughly.”

Given recent surveying of student opinions, there appears to be a clear divide between students, with many for and against the current block schedule. Therefore, in contrast to prior decisions made by District 121, I urge administrators to include both student and teacher voices when considering the move to 8-periods.

My thoughts on the matter? To best spare Warren students the added stress of another drastic change only weeks before the end of the second semester, save the standard schedule for a standard school year.