Friday Schedule Weeks

Fridays: Universally recognized as “too many tests for a single day” day or “last day before the weekend” day. It seems that Friday can easily find its place as the best day of the school week for most. In theory, it might sound good to have a Friday schedule every single day of the work week, but those consecutive Friday schedules come without what really defines a Friday– the promise of the upcoming weekend.

Of course, it’s not the day itself that makes us protest, but having “every class every day” that does. Friday schedules are a return to an almost antiquated structure that simply does not work. Through the multiple schedule changes in the past five years, it became clear that huge blocks in block schedules and “every class every day” schedules were unconducive to learning. Students were unproductive and showed vastly reduced attention spans during blocks longer than 75 minutes. Now, we have a balance; blocks of classes are shorter, and there’s a mixture of block and non-block days The current schedule with two tutorials is set up to lessen interruptions from sports and other activities with an early release on Wednesdays.

Although having Friday schedule five times in a week offers 15 more minutes of class time per period, the disadvantages, like the interruptions that Friday schedules cause, outweigh the benefits. Both teachers and students rely on the tutorial schedule to make up missed tests. The 90 minutes “lost” during tutorials are not really lost; they are simply spent in a more focused way, with students working on what they truly need to.

Tutorial is not the only part of the schedule that’s interrupted. With the loss of early-out Wednesdays, certain extracurricular activities must be canceled. These extracurricular activities are in the minority, but the impact of the schedule change is enough to push them off-schedule. In terms of the organizations that I’m in, that one hour out of school is essential. For organizations that reach out to middle schools, specifically Walnut Debate Outreach Program, Math Counts and Civic Bridge, the issue is definitely there. With Suzanne Middle School students ending school at 2 p.m, many of them are unable to attend after school activities from 3-4 p.m, meaning Walnut students cannot continue certain club activities on that week.

But I’ve been avoiding the main point that everyone complains about: Friday schedule means more homework and less time to do it. Luckily, I’ve been blessed. The majority of my teachers are understanding and are willing to delay some assignments because they know how stressed we are, but that may just be because of my IB/AP schedule, in which teachers ask whether a due date must be pushed back. I understand, though; a Friday schedule at this point in time is simply disruptive to the rhythm both teachers and students have found for themselves in adjusting to the school year. Not only are there about two or more homework assignments each day, those assignments are all due sooner. With the lack of a block schedule, there’s no break from a certain class. Simply put, Friday schedule moves everything forward, creating more stress for the student.

Another issue to consider is that these shifts in the schedule may be unwarranted. I mean, if Homecoming is optional, why is the Homecoming Assembly mandatory? I understand that we should promote the dance and school spirit while supporting our peers, but it’s simply unfair to not offer students a choice, just like how rallies function. If the change to an optional Homecoming Assembly is implausible, why not shift the schedule so that on Thursday we miss tutorial for the assembly instead of missing two? There are many options to pursue and investigate that, even at face value, seem more beneficial to students and faculty than the current one. This same case applies to other Friday schedule weeks, such as the ones that occur because of a missing Monday or Friday in the school week. If it doesn’t interrupt a tutorial day, why not simply skip that part of the schedule and continue with the standard tutorials?

Besides, wouldn’t it be more apt to call it Monday schedule instead of Friday schedule? It seems, just as it is with Mondays, all we’re given is stress and nothing to look forward to.

By Jason Luna, Staff writer
Editorial Cartoon by Richard Zhang 

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