Green and gold is the way to go

The green and gold schedule made students’ lives easier by alternating days in which they attend each class and should be kept for the remainder of the school year.

Senior+Allie+Serterides+prefers+the+new+green+and+gold+schedule+rather+than+the+old+one.

Jackson Nealis

Senior Allie Serterides prefers the new green and gold schedule rather than the old one.

Allie Serterides

This school year, Saint Stephen’s looked for new and innovative ways to allow students to come back to campus while also social distancing and minimizing potential exposure to COVID. One of these ways was the high school adopting a new block schedule.

We switched to an “A and B” schedule, also known as “Green” and “Gold days,”,with Green day’s featuring three block classes and Gold day’s featuring four. This new setup was designed so that students would get the same weekly class time, but the traffic in the hallways between classes would be decreased, the number of student interactions minimized, and overall, less student movement and contact throughout the day.

The administration (and many schools across the country) felt this was the safest way to keep students socially distanced and allow for potential contact tracing.

The only downside to this schedule was that students would now be faced with long classes: 1.5 hours is a long time! For teachers, it’s difficult to keep their students attention for that much time, and for students, it’s difficult to maintain focus. However, students seemed to get by just fine due to their strong work ethic.

Regarding the block schedule, junior Kyle Klett said, “I don’t like block math but I like the A/B schedule because I can better prepare for quizzes and tests. I have more time to learn everything because I’m not as overwhelmed by work from all my other classes.”

At the beginning of the school year, the new block schedule was hard to adjust to at first because students were used to the old one. But as the school year progressed students started to find their rhythm.

However, starting the second interim, it was decided to return to the schedule of old (which features one block period per week with single 45-minute periods for the other days). This is the “modified block schedule” that the high school knows and loves. But for this year, in these circumstances, I don’t necessarily like this idea and I’ve polled many, many students who feel the same.

Freshmen Isabella Sanchez said, “I like the A/B schedule because the classes were long so we only had half the classes that we do in the new schedule. It was a lot easier to understand harder lessons because it gave us more time to ask questions.” Sanchez also reported that she had more time to do homework because of fewer total classes each day.

Sophomore Sophia Creneti agreed: “I get home late from sports and the Green/Gold schedule allowed me to manage my time better since I didn’t have as many classes every day.”

With last year’s schedule returning, new students and freshmen spent the first few weeks of the second interim worrying about which class they were supposed to be in (and how to wrap their head around the homework scheduling). The new schedule made social distancing harder because so many students are scrambling to their classes or going in the wrong directions. On top of that, now we see more students each day as we have more classes.

Additionally, the homework load for students will definitely increase as well. I’ve spoken with various students, and they all agree. With the A/B schedule, because there are less classes each day, there’s simply less homework.

Some say teachers “give twice” the homework on the A/B, but in my experience, that just isn’t true. In my experience, teachers will assign those 20-30 minute homework nightly regardless of the schedule we’re following, so switching back to the old schedule means students will have more homework because we have more classes.

Homework can take a toll on students, and in this difficult time, increasing that load will have more adverse effects on stress levels and mental health.

Although I was very opposed to the new schedule at first, it’s definitely grown on me and I honestly don’t think changing it back is necessary.

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