Extended-Day Schedule Has Students Longing for Time Off


Maddy Carter

Hard Time: Adding 30 more minutes to the end of the day has students clock-watching during Period 4.

Snow days are an unforeseen joy. When students get out of school early they are  able to relax and have fun in snow and ice. But this year’s deluge of snow and ice has meant more school days missed. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and the school board adopted a plan for making up missed days. Their efforts gave us the new extended day schedule, a new lengthy reality that’s taking many North Atlanta students a long time — pun intended — to get used to.  

Once the superintendent realized the days needed to be made up, six options were sent out to students, parents and teachers to be able to vote. One idea was that student make up time by attending school during the coming winter break which starts on February 19. Others involved making up some days during winter break and others at some point in March. Two of the given options that stuck out as particularly unattractive to students. These options were adding 15 minutes in the morning and afternoon, or just tacking on 30 minutes in the afternoon.

Surprisingly, adding 30 minutes at the end of the day won and this set off a chain reaction of complaints from both students and parents. “I understand plans were made for some families for the February break, however, in the long run adding minutes to the end of school will do nothing to help,” said junior Asa Bolden.

The negative side effects of the new system are numerous. These include disrupting work and practice schedules, and decreasing academic performance at the end of the day. It’s even more frustrating because technically, by state law, it’s not even a mandate that APS make up these days. Longer classes are causing students to be less motivated, causing an epidemic of bad work. “Getting out at 4:15 causes me to be an hour late to swim practice every day now,” said sophomore Graham Lee.

“Along with that, it’s getting harder to balance completing my school work into my schedule, which could cause me to get worse grades.”

Although distracting students, messing up afternoon practices, and bad work are effects of the new schedule, we only have until March 30 upon which we return to the old schedule. Though motivation will be hard to find, having only 58 more days of this schedule will be just enough, until we’re home free at the beginning of Spring Break.