OPINION: Four Day School Weeks (and One Asynchronous) Sticking Around

Should the current schedule that we have now stick around long after the pandemic is done?

This+is+what+the+schedule+for+hybrid+learning+and+hopefully+the+rest+of+the+year.+What+if%2C+though%2C+this+stuck+around+forever%3F

Sarah Hayes

This is what the schedule for hybrid learning and hopefully the rest of the year. What if, though, this stuck around forever?

Owen Etter, Staff Writer

Something that I remember before the whole pandemic started was I would frequently converse with other students about how other schools around Colorado seemed to be trying out four-day weeks with great successes. I would always round out the conversation by saying, “I wish we could at least try that.” Then with major tests and tweaks to schedules, it seemed as if my wishes were answered with the way we students go through school now with four consistent days of school and one asynchronous day on Friday. 

This schedule at first seemed to be really odd because it was the scary idea of “change” and not many students and teachers really like a big change. While this schedule for schooling works incredibly well for safety purposes and work distribution, what about after the pandemic is done? With all of the changes that COVID-19 forced upon us as a school and community, St. Vrain Valley School District should really consider keeping a schedule like this for many more years to come for planning purposes with work and school and also have every opportunity to get help when needed. 

The obviously nice part about this schedule is that it’s very set and consistent with Mondays and Wednesdays always being A days and B days are always on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s been a benefit for students like junior Kaiden Spirz and her own personal life,

“I like that [the current schedule] is not all over the place and you don’t get confused with which classes are on what day. The consistency has really helped me in terms of planning out things for my personal life.”

Though it’s a little odd sometimes as teachers aren’t really consistent with work when it comes to Fridays, they’re still more of a day to “play catch up” if you will. As junior Kyle Richards described, asynchronous Fridays have really been a major help to him:

“Asynchronous Fridays are greatly beneficial for managing time, staying on task, and getting my work done. I enjoy working in an environment I’m comfortable around which is basically working at my personal desk with the door closed. This helps me tackle assignments more efficiently.”

This kind of schedule isn’t just a benefit to students and time management, it’s also a huge benefit to teachers and staff who are normally slammed by grading and inconsistent weeks. Mr. Rein told the personal benefits and struggles that he and other staff have had with this schedule by detailing,

“We know there’s some value to a schedule such as this one. However, there are issues that come with those and we should try to address those issues to make this schedule better. I think in some respects, I’ve had time to grade and plan. Though, I don’t really have a lot of time to implement those plans. I’ve had instances where I’ve planned something and my class didn’t have time to get to it.” 

While schedules will be different when students come back to full in-person learning, the whole idea of a four-day school week with essentially a half-day has been working pretty well. At first, students were skeptical about this kind of schedule, but as senior Taggar Woods described, it’s mellowed out a bit:

“I didn’t like how the new schedule was at first because a lot of the changes were confusing, but over time with this new schedule, I’ve really gotten used to it and I like it a lot because it allows me to catch up on not only schoolwork but work in my personal time specifically on Fridays.”

In general, if there’s going to be a half-day, of course, students and teachers are going to like it more because that means more sleep in time. It’s a lot more than that though according to Mrs. Stuhr,

“This schedule, especially Fridays being asynchronous is beneficial to the kids that struggle more because they have more access to the teachers with Fridays being online. Kids are also more willing to come in on a Friday to get help and such, so it’s more beneficial for students rather than teachers but that’s okay.”

In conclusion, this has been a very dramatic and unwelcome change at first, but as time has gone on, everyone around the school has been more accepting of this schedule. There were tons of negative aspects to coming out of this pandemic, however, having school weeks be four days with one asynchronous day was once thought to be a dream and that dream should have the potential to become a permanent reality.

This change won’t impact me because I’ll be gone by next year, but if the students of FHS want to keep this schedule even after the pandemic, we should make our voices heard.