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Long School Days Now 30 Minutes Too Long

Sophomore+Anneliese+Rempe+said+the+new+extended+day+makes+the+school+day+too+long.
Sophomore Anneliese Rempe said the new extended day makes the school day too long.

Sophomore Anneliese Rempe said the new extended day makes the school day too long.

Dennis Racket

Dennis Racket

Sophomore Anneliese Rempe said the new extended day makes the school day too long.

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Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has implemented a new policy for Atlanta Public Schools that will add 30 minutes to every school day for two months. She is using this as a method of “making up” the instructional time missed during the inclement weather days. While I’m sure there were good intentions in making this rule, It is being widely regarded as a horrible decision by students, parents, and staff. This is an inconvenient unnecessary rule for multiple reasons, and will only cause more dislike for school. There is no possible way that adding a few minutes to every class will have any impact other than making the day feel longer and more insufferable.

The first reason that this policy is unnecessary is because the State law in Georgia does not require the school to make up the instructional time. This is purely in the hands of the Superintendent and principals. Some may defend the rule by saying that in a survey, the most amount of people chose this option over the other make up options. However, there were 6 options and of the almost 10,000 that voted, less than 4,000 chose this option. While that is the majority (though not by a large margin) , people forget that this applies to elementary and middle school parents too, whose children are not students with an as heavy workload as the high school. For them, it will not make a huge difference like it will for the students of North Atlanta.

The school day has already been lengthened earlier in the year- 3 minutes were added to every class for reasons I do not understand. Do 12 minutes taken off of my only free time, lunch, really improve my education? Are test scores higher? The only difference I have noticed since this schedule change is that the day seems to drag on longer. We also started the school year 12 days before many other schools in Atlanta, which was pointless. Additionally, all the assignments and lessons we missed on the snow days were posted online and still due at the same time and date.

Now, with even further lengthened class periods, one class period is almost an hour and 40 minutes. That’s 100 minutes that a student is expected to sit in one chair and keep focus with no breaks and we are expected not to fall asleep. We do this 4 times a day, and teachers wonder why we are unable to pay attention in their class!  The extra minutes will not help me learn, they will not make up for lost time. All they will accomplish is wasting 20 hours that could be spent doing anything else.

Since the decision has been made and the schedule has already been reworked, there is no revoking this ridiculous policy. Despite this, there is an alternate idea that might reduce the terrible associations about this plan. One IB student, the junior class president, has started a petition that has gained 850 supporters in less than 24 hours. She proposes that the extra time is added on at the end of the day as a study period  in which students may be able to work on assignments, visit teachers for extra help, collaborate on group projects, and use the school technology they may not always have access to.

The added 30 minutes time is inconvenient, unnecessary, and an added stress and loss of time for students. It will have no benefit and cause students to skip school more frequently. It causes parents, teachers, staff members, and students to rework their entire after school schedules for zero purpose.  If 30 minutes is really going to be added to the school day, it should at least be used as a study period that students may get some benefit from.

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Long School Days Now 30 Minutes Too Long