The Wednesday Schedule is new and… not improved.

The Wednesday Schedule is new and... not improved.

Katie Bryan '24, Community Writer

The new and “improved” Wednesday has been very controversial lately. Last year, Wednesdays were virtual;  all of the kids had online classes so that the school could be properly sanitized. This year, though, upper schoolers start school 45 minutes late every single Wednesday. The purpose of having this change in schedule was to break up the school week. School only starts at 8:45 for upper schoolers and each class is shortened by 10 minutes. There are two kinds of blocks of time that classes usually have: 70-minute classes, and 50-minute classes. Now the 70-minute classes are an hour and the 50-minute classes are just 40 minutes. Lunch is shortened from its usual length of 40 to 30 minutes including the two 5 minute passing times to get to and from class. The last thing that makes Wednesdays special is the 40-minute meeting for worship (MFW) block after the first two classes. However, many people find Wednesday’s schedule debilitating rather than beneficial. 

One of the most common qualms students find with the schedule is the lack of time to eat during the day. Josephine Wellons ‘23 said, “Not having lunch until 1 pm and not having much of a time to eat a snack leaves students really hungry.” Usually, students have time during break to eat a snack, but with MFW they don’t eat until 1:05. Students find this extremely draining, as during their classes they are so hungry that they cannot focus as well. Carson Dunn ‘22 has an idea for how to implement a snack time in the schedule, “If we could get 10 minutes of passing time before going to MFW to get a snack and have a small break, that would solve our problem.”  Students have largely agreed with this plan. 

The reason why 70-minute classes were originally implemented to the normal schedule was so that classes that have labs or longer projects can do them in one class but Jace Boland ‘23 thinks, “Long blocks are important for the science departments, but since they’re already shorter on Wednesdays, if we shaved off 10 minutes from the long blocks for a break before MFW and also add on to lunch the day would be better.” This seems like a good way to solve the problem but the school cannot just change the schedule around. This is due to the number of teachers who teach in the middle and lower school as well. Their schedules cannot change. 

But there aren’t only negative opinions on the schedule. Robby Tattersall ’23 commented that “The late start is a nice way to break up the week and keep students going for the second half of the week. After virtual Wednesdays last year, this slight break is a breath of fresh air.” High schoolers who do not have siblings can show up later than usual, and sleep longer. But since the middle and lower school still start at the same time, many upper schoolers just have to hang around before their first class starts. 

Ellen Johnson, the 11th-grade biology teacher, encourages students to come to upcoming agenda meetings or talk to their class representatives about their opinions. The agenda team will discuss how the Wednesday schedule could change to work better for students. Johnson said, “This is not one person’s choice. In the Quaker community, we hear many voices before coming to a conclusion.” If enough people stand up, we will see progress on the ever-evolving Wednesday schedule.