A Plea to Keep Half-Day Wednesdays
By Lauren Azrin
There's been talk in the district about a plan for next semester that would involve moving back to full-day Wednesdays for the high school. However, many students, including the totality of the Orange staff, feel that half-day Wednesdays are important and necessary for their schoolwork management, mental health, and well-being.
First off, half-day virtual Wednesdays give students a break, and something to look forward to during the week. School weeks can feel extremely monotonous when each day students roll out of bed to sit in front of a computer for hours, then do the same thing the next day and the next. Having a half-day Wednesday gives students some differentiation in their week.
Not only that, but the half-day gives students time to catch up on work. With this unusual classroom setup, it has become harder for many students to stay on top of assignments. When classwork and homework all merge together, students working from home often feel overloaded. This half-day midway point offers students a chance to get back on track and submit any late work, as well as to get ahead for the coming days if they know they have larger assignments coming up.
Also important is the fact that many clubs now meet on Wednesday afternoons, a crucial time for students who aren’t getting to socialize daily in the ways they used to. It has been great for students to have a day in the middle of the week where they get to engage with peers outside of classes and in clubs and activities that interest them. Taking away half-day Wednesdays would force these clubs to move to meeting after school, adding on more things for students to do once the school day ends.
It’s not like half-day Wednesdays are a total waste of a school day; twenty-five minutes is still plenty of time to things to get done. All that’s being sacrificed is fifteen minutes per class, and the benefits of missing that short amount of time, especially in such a turbulent time for students, are more than worth the sacrifice.