At the start of the year, I had high hopes for how North Atlanta’s schedule would play out. However, it did not live up to my expectations, leaving me feeling severely disappointed by APS. From weeks of non-stop school to breaks every other week, the planning put forth has made me question whether they know what’s really best for students during these challenging times. I understand that Covid-19 has uprooted the normal sequence of life, but I wish they had planned this out better, because it’s hurting students’ ability to learn.
One of the biggest issues with the schedule this year is that AP and IB kids have some classes during the first semester but are forced to take their exams in May, five months after their classes later. Students have to remember everything they’ve learned on their own and study by themselves to even get a decent grade on their exam. It’s incredibly frustrating for students and teachers alike because they’re forced to cram information in their brains all day and then remember as best they can, five months later.
Another pressing issue is the break schedule. Students went weeks without a break, stressed out and craving relief a day off. However, now it feels like we have constant breaks, which doesn’t help in the way of consistency. After coming back from Thanksgiving Break, we are given three weeks of learning, and then another two-week-long break for Christmas after that. We end the 1st semester in January, which feels disjointed. When are we having exams? How are we expected to remember everything we’ve learned for our finals in the class? What will we even do that last week of learning? This schedule leaves students with many questions that just don’t have concrete answers. .
While I don’t think APS intentionally made these schedules this ill-conceived, I do hope that there is some change next year when we arrive back at the building, fresh and ready to learn. Whatever our next choices are for the school year, I hope to see improvement on the parts of APS.