OT Reacts: A Return to Full Days

On Tuesday, May 4, Superintendent James Santana announced a return to full-length school days beginning on May 18.

The return is days away, and The Lance is checking in on the students’ and teachers’ thoughts on the new schedule.


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  • Kiki Liu, in-person sophomore: “I think that it will kind of be hard to adjust back because we’ve been in the schedule for so long, and I also think it is kinda pointless because it is basically only for the last month.”

  • Siddhi Samant, virtual junior: “I am not a big fan because it’s hard and very demanding and tiresome to spend four hours a day virtually learning, so adding on another 2 hours is going to be mentally draining. I feel like it’s also going to add on more stress because it’s already hard enough, plus it was helpful to have the entire afternoon to do work that was needed for other classes. Now that the school is getting extended in the afternoon, it seems unnecessary. We only have one month of school left so what’s the point.”

  • Sophia Ashbahian, in-person freshman: “Well, the thing that I’m mostly worried about is the increasing workload which a lot of teachers are telling us not to be worried about, but truthfully, I know that I should be worried about it. Because this is my first year at the high school, so I really have nothing to compare it to. I’m not sure if all the classes that I’m taking, if this is a lot of work or if this is a little work compared to what I’m gonna get. Well, obviously, the difference between grades, is always—I’m always gonna get more work next year, but I don’t know what to compare it to.”

  • Nihar Patel, in-person senior: “I personally am kind of excited to go back to a full-day schedule because with all of COVID, I never really got a normal senior year, and this is the closest thing to one. A lot of people are hating on it, but in the end, it was bound to happen now or at the beginning of the next school year. I am especially relieved to have some of my classes every day now rather than double periods, which took a lot of effort to get through. This year has had all its ups and downs, and even though it’s going to take some time to adjust, I feel like some sense of normalcy is coming back.”

  • Michael Greenberg, in-person freshman: “This school year has been wild, and going back to full time is something that honestly won’t be fun as I have liked the shortened school days in-person. But I know that it is important to get back full time for the students and teachers”.

  • Erin Schoolsky, in-person junior: “I think there’s pros and cons because obviously we need to start getting back to normal and this is a step in the right direction, but at the same time the student body is already under a lot of stress and the timing with everything is not great, especially for students who take AP Exams because they have a heavier workload with the end of the year approaching. This year’s been a lot for everyone and especially since we only have a month left, it’s going to be challenging, especially for those at home. It feels like the students’ opinions are disregarded. Also, the pressure of school and summer coming is not a good combination because it’s harder for students to focus on their schoolwork.”

  • Liana Farah, virtual freshman: “I’m virtual so, part of me is upset—I mean, not upset—but I would rather be in person doing six hours of school than virtual, but I’m virtual for the rest of the year. But I think that sitting in front of a computer for six hours on Zoom is going to be very frustrating.”

  • Joseph Ortelere, virtual junior: “I would rather not go back to full days for the rest of the 2021 school year. It is a lot of time on the computer and I feel that school from 8 to 12 was reasonable with time after to meet with teachers and do homework.”

  • Chiraag Kankariya, in-person junior: “I personally don’t mind and have the privilege of not being too restricted by my parents, but I think the school has failed to consider the students who have a legitimate reason to stay home due to corona or strict parenting or even someone in their family who might be vulnerable. Now, these students are forced to attend online classes for 7 hours a day which is mentally exhausting and is not healthy in the slightest. I also think the school hasn’t handled changing the schedule in the best way, they have changed it spontaneously without considering input from the actual teachers and students are who the ones following this schedule.”

  • Luke Simeone, in-person senior: “Having been in-person for almost a month now, returning to full day to me does not seem like that much of a problem. I am personally excited for the return, I want to experience frunches and the rotating schedule before I exit High School. Although I don’t believe that being on zoom for 6 hours for the virtual kids will be fun, and circumstances may prevent them from coming into school, I will have a good time next Tuesday having my first full day of school as a senior in 14 months.”

  • Nicollette Ruggiero, in-person sophomore: “I’m happy to be going back just to get a sense of normality, but I’m nervous about the adjustment.”

  • Claire Yoo, virtual sophomore: “I’m not looking forward to it because it’s going to be so bad for my eyes just staring at a screen all day. I also think [that] since there’s a month left of school, there’s no point because none of my teachers are behind on their lessons or anything.”

  • Aimee George, virtual junior: “Going back to normal school days seems to present itself as a selfish attempt at normalcy. Yes, we all want to go back to normal, but the timing and manner in which it is being done is terrible. For virtual students who dreaded E-days at the beginning of the school year, imagine what it’s going to be like for them and having to attend 6 hours of classes over Zoom. Mental health will definitely plummet and I think people will stop trying as hard in class because they’re just going to be so tired. Also, this is the worst time to make us go back to full days because we are in the middle of AP season. Such an abrupt change to the schedule is going to definitely impact those studying and taking the tests because we have to spend 6 hours online and then hours studying – all on a screen.”

  • Mike Yang, virtual junior: “I am personally not a fan of going back to full day schedule. I think that it is very unhealthy for virtual students to be looking at a computer screen for 6 hours a day. I also feel like it would be very weird for people to adapt to this schedule with only a month left of school however I am willing to try my best and make the best out of the situation.”

  • Mrs. Kathleen Wehmann, teacher: “It’ll be interesting, but I’m excited to keep moving forward.”

  • Mr. Jonathan Spoelstra, teacher: “I’m excited to get back to the rotating block schedule because I feel like it works best for educating. I think that having the same classes at the same periods every day is difficult.”

  • Mrs. Erica Sposa, teacher: “Overwhelmed, in a word. There’s a lot going on. A lot of planning that was done weeks in advance now has to be replanned because the schedule has changed and there are a lot of personal complications with my own family. I think ‘overwhelmed’ is the best word I can put on it.”

  • Mr. Brook Zelcer, teacher: “I don’t support the initiative and wish that the administration could have had this time to prepare for the return to school in the fall. Our administrators and front office staff [are working hard], and I don’t want to see them burned out. But that’s just one of a number of objections I have to returning to a full day schedule at this late stage of our school year.”

  • Mr. Kevin Hughes, teacher: “I’m not sure I’m ready right now myself but I do want to see more kids and spend more time in school but I’m not totally sure that I’m ready and I don’t know that our students are as well.”

  • Mrs. Meredith Winchell, teacher: “It will be interesting to go back to somewhat of a normal school day, but I’m ready to see what it brings.”

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