Covid Creates New and Improved Schedule

Jake McCreary, Staff Writer

   As the coronavirus continues to impact the nation, schools—like many other institutions—have the task of adapting to new challenges like social distancing and virtual learning. One of the more fundamental differences to Trinity as a whole  affects not only the student body, but everyone affiliated with the school: the new schedule.

   Whether this circumstantial schedule resulted from smart decision making by officials or pure coincidence, the focal shift to block days offers nothing but benefits to teachers and students alike.

   To accommodate social distancing needs, the administrators have incorporated several changes. One major new feature is the emphasis on block days, with 4 of the 5 days of a normal week now following a B or C day schedule. This, in addition to advisory and chapel receiving small adjustments and reschedulings, encompasses the major changes to the pre-virus schedule thus far.

   The new shift to a heavier focus on block days rather than the more well-rounded A-day yields many new benefits. According to the National Education Board in 2016, block schedules provide a myriad of benefits, including more time for students to process information, longer student retention of information and the ability for teachers to provide more individualized instruction.

   What this means is that, from the perspective of both teachers and students, this schedule is a win. Teachers are presented with new opportunities to give more personal attention to each student.

   “A teacher sees fewer students during the day, thereby giving him or her the ability to spend more time with each one. Because of the increased span of teaching time, longer cooperative learning activities can be completed in one class period,” said Education Expert Melissa Kelly.

   That’s not all: the new schedule has additional implications for specific classes. For example, science courses now have more chances to conduct fun and interactive lab activities that normally require too much time to fit into a standard 45-minute class period.

   Students similarly gain considerably from the switch to block days. Firstly, students receive less homework without sacrificing understanding of the material.

   This reduction would inadvertently decrease student stress and increase amounts of sleep for students across the board. This in combination with the school day beginning 15 minutes later substantially benefits the health of students.

   Additionally, the National Education Association cites block days as beneficial to student behavior. Consistent block day schedules create “saner school days” by reducing homework and freeing up additional time for more interactive and collaborative learning.

   It’s easy to see that students and teachers alike are satisfied with the new schedule.

   “I love the new block schedule. It helps me interact with my teachers a lot more effectively,”  said senior Joshua Kidd.

   Many teachers and students frequently note that it’s hard to believe that A-days used to be as prevalent as they were. Some go as far as claiming that block days are blatantly superior.

   “I can’t believe A-days used to be so common, they’re way more stressful than block days!” said 8th grader Alexandra Rubin.

   While some other aspects of Trinity’s new schedule receive a more negative reaction, such as the large window of time allocated to a short chapel livestream, the shift to block days becoming the norm is without a doubt a step in the right direction. While such a schedule was originally implemented with the purpose of facilitating social distancing initiatives, the administration may have created a schedule that not only better fits today’s hazardous circumstances, but also the best interests of teachers and students alike, virus or no virus.