By Alex Wong (I)
On March 31, 2020, the Middle School announced a brand new schedule. Effective April 6, it is very similar to the regular school schedule, where classes would be held according to letter days instead of according to weekdays. The changes it does make, however, have elicited a variety of responses from the Middle School student body.
Middle School students discussed the new schedule during the April 1 remote Advisory session. During the week of March 23, Middle School students only attended one core class per day, as well as advisory on Mondays and Wednesdays. The new schedule is very similar to the regular school schedule: seven different blocks (in contrast to the five core classes in the former remote learning schedule), with four classes per day, as well as a flex (featuring student interest clubs) and Independent Work/Athletics Block at the end of the day. Some students expressed concern over the increase of classes in an unfamiliar environment. Laura Young (I) remarked, “I think that the former schedule had too few classes per day, however, the new schedule may be a bit much.” On the other hand, some students liked the increase of classes. Claire Sartorius (I) mentioned, “I think the new schedule is better because it feels like a regular school day.” Max Ruffer (6) mentioned, “I think that the new schedule will help with homework management. With the new schedule I only get the day’s homework. Getting a week of homework has messed up my eating schedule. When I do my homework, I try to get all the work done at one time. If I have a lot of homework then sometimes I end up doing things I normally would not do such as skipping lunch. With the new asynchronous classes however, it will help the students to improve skills such as writing before a major test.”
Middle School teachers hope that the new schedule will bring back a sense of familiarity to the whole Middle School. When asked about the new schedule, Middle School Dean of Student Life Mr. Michael Coakley said, “The hope with this new schedule, ‘Remote Learning 2.0’ as we’re calling it, is that we’ll be able to give students increased structure and community facetime in these unusual times. Connection with other people matters right now; it reminds us that our community is bound less by a building and more by the values and willingness to support one another that we all share.” Science teacher Ms. Debra Tambor is also optimistic about the new schedule, mentioning, “The modified remote learning schedule will allow for increased contact for students and faculty, the advancement of learning, and more structure to the student’s work week.”
In summary, the Middle School schedule has brought a lot of uncertainty to the table, for teachers and students alike. However, there is one thing everyone can agree on in the Middle School: we will get through this, and we will make it work.