The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

‘Rite Idea: Consistency is Key

Starting the year with a different schedule confuses everyone
Olivia Cavallo

In the words of the world’s most iconic orange cat, “I hate Mondays.”

We don’t dislike the days themselves, nor is this about our irritation at the weekend’s conclusion. We take issue with the two weeks of Monday that greeted students when we returned to school. Excluding the three-day staggered start — which was cut short by storm cleanup — for the first two weeks of this year, students attended every class daily, before resuming the normal block schedule.

If your first reaction to this decision was, Why?, you’re not alone. Students never got an explanation for why we started with an alternative schedule. Naturally, members of all grade levels were puzzled.

It was especially confusing for freshmen. Entering high school is no easy adjustment. You have a new building to navigate, new policies to follow and new teachers and staff to form relationships with. You also have a new schedule to learn, which differs from that of the middle school. On top of all that, this year, the first two weeks were structured differently from the remainder of the year. As soon as they got into the flow of school, it changed.

We switched to a block schedule for a reason. It’s hard for students and teachers to accomplish much of anything in a 50-minute class. There’s little time to explore topics and ask questions. Learning was constantly interrupted, and the five-minute transitions between classes added up to five hours spent traveling over two weeks, compared to three hours of passing time during normal weeks.

Students reached their Friday level of drowsiness by Wednesday. Teachers seemed unusually exhausted, too, and we don’t blame them. Unless this is their first year teaching at the high school, they had already adapted to the block schedule. Then, they had to restructure their classes in the first two weeks to satisfy the Monday schedule.

One AP U.S. History class was interrupted by the bell mid-lecture. A math teacher split one packet of notes over two days. Teachers were visibly annoyed; it was frustrating all around.

Now that the two weeks of Mondays are in the past, we’re finally adjusting to school, albeit later than usual. Our advice to the district? When you’re making next year’s schedule, if nothing else, make it consistent from the first day forward.

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