Schedule tweaks as a potential solution
January 7, 2022
Ultimately, the administration has decided teachers have the power to determine work levels for their own classes. Still, many administrators, like Meyer, are sympathetic to the struggles that students are facing this year and are looking for alternate solutions to alleviate anxiety that don’t require interfering with teachers’ freedom and plans.
Because the administration entrusts teachers to make their own decisions regarding student workload, Meyer said he sees his role in supporting students and easing stress mostly by way of the schedule.
“We can do little things like a homework free weekend, but there are other tools we can use within the two week schedule, like making one of the seven blocks for each class a check in for slowing down,” Meyer said. “The bigger work is in what we want our schedule to look like in the long haul. What sort of minor changes or refinements could we make? How do we make sure we’re building in the right number of advisory and hub blocks? What sort of help or flex blocks do we put in place? And in the bigger picture, how many blocks do we want students to take?”
Mason said minimizing the number of blocks per day makes a huge impact in easing students’ homework loads because it decreases the amount of assignments that can be due on any given day and stretches out the time allotted for homework. This reasoning was a major factor in the decision to shift to the ten day schedule in 2019.
“That change was made because we said, okay, let’s spread this out a little bit.” Mason said. “The idea is that it’s easing some of that homework burden for kids.”