Should MHS Return to the Drop Schedule in the Fall?

William Anderson, Editorial Director

Mamaroneck High School’s current schedule was created because of COVID-19 when the school year began, mainly because the requirements of hybrid learning forced students and teachers to have a confusing cycle of being in-person and remote. Instead of a rotating four-day schedule where two of eight periods are dropped each day, the new schedule is simpler since it is always all eight periods in the same order every day. This is more practical since the hybrid model is inherently complex. But now that MHS will likely be fully in-person next year, an important question arises: should MHS keep the new schedule or return to the drop schedule?

Many students, including those on the Globe Staff, agree that MHS should return to the drop schedule. While some students like seeing each teacher every day and enjoy the shorter periods, others disagree. One student said that “52 minutes per class under the drop schedule is more total instructional time than the current 40 minutes per class.” Also, shorter periods force teachers to cram more information into their lessons and rush more, so it is logical that one teacher, when asked about what to do, said “I hope we do [return to the drop schedule].” Another student, when asked, said that “the current schedule lacks a lab class for whatever science class students take,” so science classes are also hurt. Finally, attending each class every day in the same order (except P.E., every other day) is much more monotonous than a rotating schedule.

The current schedule also puts additional academic stress on students as they have less time for extra help. This is because office hours don’t occur at lunch (as they normally do) but instead occur once every other Friday, so students have less time to get extra help from their teachers and understand the learning material better. According to an 11th grader, “the office hours currently aren’t enough for AP courses.” Not only is lunch missing office hours, it also lacks club meetings. Since both these things are packed into Focus Friday, the time is much more limited, so it is harder to see teachers or to go to clubs as students usually would. 

A final problem with the current schedule is timing: school currently ends at 3:00 PM, later than the former 2:36 PM. It is naturally more annoying to be dismissed later, but it also hurts students doing athletics after school as they are more rushed to prepare for their sport. In the wider community, 3:00 PM dismissal is worse because students being picked up after school have to experience the irritating traffic that comes from students being picked up from other schools in the district at the same time, but ending at 2:36 PM improves after-school traffic in the town. Another current time problem is that lunch is 64 minutes, significantly longer than the normal 48 minutes because, under the hybrid model, students needed additional time to get to and from school (depending on when they were remote and in-school). Now, students have an extra-long lunch, and this extra time could be used for more class time, clubs, or an earlier dismissal.

MHS should return to the drop schedule because students will have more instructional learning, extra help, time for clubs, and an earlier dismissal. Teachers also have fewer classes to teach per day, more time to teach, and an earlier time to end work. By returning to the pre-pandemic schedule, we can come closer to better times.