A step forward or backward?

This+is+a+chart+for+the+new+early+release+bell+schedule.+This+will+be+useful+for+students+to+be+able+to+readjust+to+the+new+schedule.%0A

This is a chart for the new early release bell schedule. This will be useful for students to be able to readjust to the new schedule.

Sasha Gerike, print staff

 On Monday, Sept. 28, a school board meeting was held in the Lake Central High School auditorium. This meeting declared that every Wednesday school will be dismissed 90 minutes early starting on Oct. 14. The purpose of this early release is to compensate for the teachers that are struggling this year due to COVID-19. This early release will provide more time for both students and teachers to get work done and to make their lives less stressful.

   “I am very happy that teachers will now be provided with some extra time each week. Lesson planning this year has doubled since we need to meet the needs of in-class learners and e-learners. Teachers are drowning in additional work. I plan to use my extra time to set up my Canvas pages for my classes, grade assignments [and] design lessons that meet the needs of all learners,” Mrs. Kristina Collard, English, said.

   Several students felt relief when they heard the news, as high school can be a very stressful and important time in their lives. Most students will use this time to catch up on school work. However, the younger generation is known for procrastination, and some students may use this time for things other than school work. 

   “I will use this extra time for either more sleep or extra study time,” Gavin Thompson (10) said.

   Students claim that this plan for a 90 minute release benefits everyone because there is now more time.

   “It benefits everyone—the teachers and students. The teachers will have more time to set up plans for the lessons and students have more time to finish their homework,” Sarah Gross (12) said.

   However, with this extra time given that is the size of a class period, teachers may not be as lenient with accepting late work.

   “In my opinion, students should not be having late homework with this huge gap of time they’re getting to do their homework,” Gross said.

   From a teacher’s standpoint, this time is very useful for grading and planning, as there is a heavier workload this year with having to accommodate both in-person and e-learning students.

   “I like that we have the time to grade and plan. There is so much more to do this year with online and in person school,” Mrs. Cindy Lale, Spanish, said.

   On the other hand, teachers have said this 90 minute early release hurts, rather than helps. It was hard to get everyone on a new plan this year, and now once again will have to readjust. Readjusting previously took a long time, so this change may not be as smooth of a transition as the school hopes.

   “I am afraid that the timing of it will not work with our high school schedule though. Now that we are on a no-traditional day schedule, Wednesdays are always a different day in the cycle. This makes planning hard,” Lale said.

   Even the students see the flaws in the plan. Teenagers are great at procrastinating and have admitted that they won’t use this time to study. 

   “In my opinion, the early release on Wednesdays is pointless,” Thompson said.

   Some even believe that are better and more efficient options. Teachers have suggested bringing back traditional days.

   “I think a virtual traditional day would be a better fit for us at the high school,” Lale said.

   So which is it, a step forward or backward?