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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Lead Ed – Time for a Change

   This past school year, we have had two early release days – October’s Lunch on the Lawn and February’s professional development day. The fact that this has occurred twice now proves that this is a feasible reform. This shortened schedule should not be saved for unique days, but rather should occur every Friday.

   The plan for a reformed schedule would remove the flex break and middle block on the second C-day of the week, leading to a 1 p.m. release time. This is a concept that Trinity has never fully integrated into our schedule, but poses a series of crucial benefits. On a typical school day, many students have practices until 7 p.m., or even later, but an early release day could help provide more time in the afternoon to alleviate students’ workloads.

   Scheduling committee member and guidance counselor Rylan Smith has seen numerous students come to school sleep-deprived after being overwhelmed with homework, resulting in poor mental health the following day. If the school changed the second C-day of the week to end earlier, students would have more time to finish their homework and begin to sleep earlier. This in turn will not only lead to a higher chance of productivity, but an increase in sleep can improve the mental health of all students. 

   “I think we waste a lot of time,” Smith said. “So from a mental health standpoint, I definitely think there could be some benefits to pushing through the day. But you have to find the balance between breaks [that] are also beneficial to mental health.”

   This is not just a change that can improve mental health, but the academic success of students as well.

   According to education policy journal, Education Next, a one hour difference in a schedule with an early release or late start has been proven to increase math scores by eight percent. 

   With the prospect of reforms, new challenges arise as well. One of the most glaring downsides is in the college counseling department. 

   College counselors run a class for juniors during the first middle block of the week. This reform would leave counselors without a time to accomplish this. Nevertheless, if college counseling were to move their junior’s class from this middle block to during a lunch, the problem can be fixed. 

   Additionally, another problem arises in regards to after school activities such as sports. Many of the current athletic coaches have jobs outside of school, and would be unable to leave their jobs to start matches or practices earlier. As a result, a number of student athletes may have to wait at school with nothing to do until their sports commence.

   An early release schedule may pose a small inconvenience to some of the sports on campus, but there still is a potential solution for the others. Many athletic coaches are teachers here as well, so they would be able to start their practices early. In doing so, it would allow these afterschool activities to end roughly two hours earlier than they normally do. This provides valuable time to both the coaches and the athletes that typically arrive home late at night.

   Though some flaws can be partially addressed, another hole in this plan is found when examining the pick-up of students. Because many students remain on campus long after school ends due to their parents’ inability to leave work earlier, there would be an even larger issue for parents if class ended even earlier. And since Trinity has no transportation system, students without extracurriculars or after school activities would be stuck in school with nothing to do. Either way, the trend of unproductivity in our schedule remains.

   There is no perfect schedule. Both concepts of the C-day schedule – the one implemented and the one proposed – have their downsides and unattractive appeals. Some parents may find a way to come to school earlier to pick up their kids, and others will not. Regardless, the benefits that this new schedule provides for the majority of faculty, staff and students outweighs the few problems that may arise. 

   It is time for a change. Our schedule would greatly benefit from a new reform, and this reform should take place as soon as possible. By removing our second C-day of the week of the significantly long break, the academic success and mental health of students and faculty can finally begin to flourish.

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