Temporary Virtual Schedule: How Did It Go?


Aleksandra Graic, Writer

There have been plenty of changes in the school system this year. With a global pandemic going on, changing the schedule was inevitable. For most of the year, the students at Wayne Valley followed a schedule consisting of forty minute class periods starting at 7:20 am and ending at 12:03pm, with additional office hours at the end of the day. In the transition from a hybrid schedule to a fullt virtual schedule, there have been some changes once again.

This newly developed schedule for virtual learning was created in hopes of making things easier from home. The new schedule once again started at 7:20 am, but classes did not end until 1:25 pm. There were many other changes incorporated into the schedule as well. The school started using this schedule on January 27th. With this, both the students and the faculty had to adjust. Opinions were quite diverse concerning this newfound change.

Starting with the obvious change, there were many student disagreements with the ending time. Although there are still office hours after school, students are not obligated to stay or meet with teachers during that time. Because of this, students were able to take earlier shifts at work, make earlier appointments, or have other things to do just after 12:03. This called for compromise in the personal lives of students. However, after adjusting, many students came to realise that the change wasn’t so big. Although some students still had difficulties with the new schedule, the adjustment wasn’t as troubling as some had thought it would be.

Another one of the biggest changes was the added lunch hour. In the original schedule for this year, students were not given a break in between classes to have lunch. In the fully virtual schedule, students are given a break period after their third class of the day. Starting at 9:45, the first twenty five minutes are dedicated to mid-day office hours. The remaining fifty minutes of this period were meant to be an opportunity for lunch.

It is easy to say that students used these extra office hours to their best advantage. It allowed more one on one meeting time with teachers, and helped them get a better understanding of the material they were learning in class. Not only was this time to be used for meeting with teachers, but it also gave students an opportunity to get a head start on homework.

The same can be said for the lunch period. Many students came to find it useful for starting work or finishing previous assignments. This also gave them time to eat in between their classes, providing a decent energy boost. While many were enjoying this extra time, much of the upperclassmen found it rather unnecessary. Many thought that this newfound break was just keeping them from ending school earlier and proceeding with other personal responsibilities.

To extend learning time from home, an additional five minutes were added to class periods. This meant that instead of forty minute periods, the students would now be attending forty five minute periods. To teachers, even these few minutes made a difference. There was no rush to wrap up class discussions and this provided time for students to ask questions at the end of class. With the minimized periods this year, teachers have been struggling to fully express lessons; because of this, they came to greatly appreciate the extra time. On the contrary, most students failed to see a difference in class time. Perhaps an extra question or two made a difference, but with only five more minutes students barely realized the change.

Since the schedule was strictly for virtual school days, the time students were given to go from class to class was shortened. While in the hybrid schedule students are given eight minutes to move to their next class due to one way hallways, this schedule only gives them five minutes to prepare for their next class. This was a change that affected both the students and the teachers. Students felt that they did not have enough time to transition properly. Many of the complaints included not having enough time to run to the restroom or even get a drink of water. Many on the faculty sided with the students on this subject. They too found the transition time to be too short. This prevented teachers from properly preparing to teach their next class and possibly took away a few minutes from class time. Some teachers also concluded that with rushing to prepare for classes and having more instructional time with students, they were given less time to grade.

It is unreasonable to say whether or not this schedule was a success. For both the students and faculty members the schedule had benefits and downfalls; as does every schedule. All people have their own opinions and preferences, making it impossible to say whether or not changing the schedule was the right move. Either way, a little bit of change is always refreshing.