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OPINION: Half days should stay at BHS

By Sofia Bellafiore

This school year at Batavia High School has allowed students to only complete half days.  This new schedule is ideal because it allows students to have the rest of the day to either reach out to teachers or finish any missing assignments.  Not every student can work at the same pace, so leaving time for assignments is a good way to meet the needs of everyone. Having the extra time means that there is room for extracurricular activities or time to wind down.  Along with that, the early start time of school can be tiring for many students, and a shorter day means there is more time to complete homework before bedtime. 

Having a longer school day actually has many disadvantages such as student fatigue.  It is useless for students to be stuck in school when they are not being productive.  Instead, the half days allow students to do their best work, then get a break. 

Some may argue that there are lunch breaks given to students during full days, but having lunch tends to wear kids down and they experience a learning crash towards the end of the day.  An article from Seattle Post-Intelligencer described this as “post-lunch attention deficit disorder”.  This means most students are not ready to jump back into the cycle of things after lunch period.

Spending longer in school does not improve test scores or grades among students.  According to the Seattle Pi, it stated, “Children and teenagers in the United States spend more hours in school than kids in Asian countries, according to data compiled in 2009.”  Students consistently outperform American students in math and science and there is no trend of longer school days helping academically. 

Along with the stressors on students that extended school days bring, there are also negative effects for teachers.  Teachers spend many extra hours preparing activities and grading numerous assignments. Leaving less time for this can cause stress to everyone in the classroom environment.  It is a good idea to continue to end our school days at 12:35 pm because it gives the proper amount of time for students and teachers to catch up on any extra work from the day.  All of the time for homework, meetings, parent-teacher conferences, or extracurricular activities can be done after school during this time.  

Some people may think that extending school hours will create more learning, but what should be considered is content over quantity.  Dragging on the hours of a school day is not productive, but staying extremely focused for a shorter amount of time is. 

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