MHS Returns to Drop Schedule with Advisory Addition

After a year with eight periods a day, MHS returns back to its normal drop schedule while adding a new advisory period.


Photo Courtesy of Kiera Butler

Mamaroneck High School in a post-pandemic world.

Jade Decker, News Page Director

 It has been 18 months since COVID-19 shut down Mamaroneck High School and completely changed the way students would attend and learn at school. However, as a vaccine worked its way through the globe, 169,592,873 Americans—or 51.1% of the total population—have gotten vaccinated. As could be expected, pre-pandemic life started slowly returning. MHS started reevaluating its future as the new school year approached, and changes were made to the temporary schedule of the 2020-2021 school year.

The ultimate decision, reached by the head of MHS, Principal Clain, was to return to the drop schedule where students would have longer but fewer classes. “Last year, when we had 8 periods a day, there was a universal feeling that it was unsustainable,” noted Ms. Clain. 40 minutes was, for many classes, not enough time for learning and getting into deep conversations. At the end of last year, a survey was sent out to all students of the school to get feedback on which schedule they felt was the better choice. Although the survey did incorporate all student opinions, the schedule was largely dependent on current juniors and seniors, as they had been the only ones to witness both schedules in action. The results were clear – MHS students were overwhelmingly in support of moving back to the drop schedule. Lauren Rayner (‘23) noted, “I  personally really enjoyed the drop schedule (as a freshman) as I felt it gave me the opportunity to keep up with my work more proactively.” She believed that having six periods in the day was easier to manage than eight periods, adding that “having to maintain eight classes every day made it feel as though there was more work to be done every day with less time to do so.” 

This seemed to be the school-wide consensus, not only among the students that had already experienced both schedules, but also the underclassmen. Juliette Patricot (‘24) remarked, “I prefer the drop schedule because it allows a non-repetitive schedule that changes each day. It is less boring and allows time to finish work and complete projects. The 8-period schedule was nice but I believe the 55-minute classes give more time to get the lesson done. I also like to finish at 2:40 because I can get ready and prepared for sports.” While the 8-period schedule was efficient in allowing students to see all of their teachers in one day, it also had substantial implications on the workload for students along with how much time students had to prepare for extracurriculars.

Another large change to the MHS Schedule for the 2020-2021 School Year was the addition of Focus Friday, a bi-weekly day where students would only attend an advisory class, office hours, club meetings, and use any additional time they may have had to catch up on work. Taking into consideration the 75% of students that agreed that advisory was a positive addition to the schedule, administrators concluded that advisory was crucial for students to continue. Ms. Clain commented, “Advisory plays a hand for students to get academic support, helps in social-emotional support, and mostly serves to build a community.” In addition to this, advisory is meant to help communicate information in a more efficient and effective manner, like a homeroom class. Having seen the benefits of having this class added to schedules, advisory will now be occurring every  Thursday, between the 2nd and 3rd periods. The addition of an advisory class on a Thursday schedule means that all classes will now be slightly shorter—49 minutes. Although Focus Friday is being left behind for the new year, it did open a new idea to be incorporated into the schedule for the years to come.

COVID-19 has taken its toll on the school but also allowed new systems to be tested and integrated. With the addition of advisory, the high school is forever changed by the virus. But the return of the traditional MHS schedule indicates that despite all the challenges of the past year and a half, Mamaroneck High School has begun its return to normalcy.