Timely solutions

How 25 minute classes on an anchor day did not create an effective schedule


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Should students have even been at school if the majority did not even learn during class time?

Aafreen Ali, Staff Writer

On Monday, March 11, I, along with the rest of the student body, spent almost an hour in the hallways getting to class and 3 hours actually in class.

On top of this excruciating shortening of class time, most teachers gave their students free periods to work on assignments for later on in the week or just relax. So if the majority of Jefferson teachers did not actually teach during their 25 minute classes, what was the point of the whole anchor schedule? A modified anchor day for a 3 hour early release should not even be a schedule for our school. Spending that little time in class, which is essentially wasted in regards to learning new content, is pointless.

This anchor day had 25 minute class periods that were split by the usual 10 minute passing period to allow students to get from class to class. This may seem normal, but the last time an anchor day was cut short (Tuesday, January 23 for a two-hour delayed opening), students were only given 5 minutes of passing time and 40 minutes in each class. Students also had a full 40 minute lunch period on that Tuesday. 

Compared to March 11’s schedule, January 22 was better planned and better for both teachers and students. There was more class time and teachers were actually able to execute their lesson plans in the time given. Students also had a full lunch period to hang out and talk with friends, which made up for the time they missed during the shortened passing times. Though Jefferson students might feel that trips between classes in 5 minutes are impossible, the journey is completely feasible if students went straight to class instead of talking with friends. People would not be giving up their time with friends forever, just for one day to help with scheduling, which is completely understandable.

The schedule on that Monday could have been improved immensely. The anchor day schedule should not have been in place at all. If we look ahead to Monday, April 1, it is a normal red day on a day that normally has an anchor schedule. Instead of having the red day schedule then, we could have moved the red day schedule to March 11 and modified it so that the class periods were of sufficient length.

Period 5- 8:40- 9:45

Period 6- 9:55-11:00

Period 7- 11:10-12:15

Lunch- 12:15-1:00

This proposed schedule gives students not only 10 minutes passing but also a lunch period extended by 5 minutes. Teachers would also get a solid 65 minutes with their students in each period. Though the logistics of ending the day with lunch may not be the best, it is a minor factor in a schedule that is overall more effective than the one we had on March 11.

Looking back on that day, I had no idea what I was doing at school if I was spending only 70% of the time in class, and most of that 70% was just free time. The anchor day schedule was not the best schedule to optimize our class time, and students and teachers should not have had their days wasted.