Expanded schedule popular with both students and staff

Breaks provide stress-free time to catch up on work

The conclusion of construction on New Trier’s east campus has brought back the widely appreciated, expanded schedule for the 2018-19 school year.

Although the expanded schedule caused the school year to start in late August, students and teachers were not faced with a full five-day school week until mid-October.

“It was nice to have certain breaks from time to time,” said sophomore Henry Armstrong. “I would say that it helped me settle [into the school year].”

The expanded schedule provided benefit for both students and teachers, said English teacher Paul Easton.

“I feel that teachers, like students, also need time to be thoughtful, to plan, and to be reflective of the work that we are doing,” said Easton.

“I think that having those extra days off really helps that process.”

Students in particular took advantage of this year’s schedule by using the time away from school to study.

Senior Brendan Platt felt that the days off gave him time to catch up on homework. “[I would be] working [on homework], taking care of business, rather than being handed more business.”

The transition into the new school year also meant that students had to transition into a new routine of schoolwork, and students entering their demanding junior year of high school jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on the days off.

“[The days off] offered me some time to do homework and to catch up [on doing work],” said junior Evan Vladhendras. “It was very helpful to not have school every day so that [I] could study.”

The extra time off was also helpful for seniors applying to college. The dispersed workload gave seniors the opportunity to work on applications without being bogged down by lots of homework.

“[Doing the common application for college] definitely takes up a lot of time, so the days off definitely [gives me] time to work on my college stuff,” said Platt.

Teachers were also given the opportunity to lighten up their hefty workloads during their time away from the classroom.

“[Much like how] students need those [days off from school] to do work and to get caught up on work, teachers need that time catch up on grading,” said Easton.

Despite the benefits of not having a full week of school for the first six weeks of the year, the lack of consistency in the schedule did lead to a disruption in the typical routine of students and teachers.

“I don’t really feel like [the days off at the beginning of the year] had that much of an effect on me, but I feel like it affected [other people] because they couldn’t get into a routine at the start of the year,” said sophomore Peter Smith.

The schedule that was used for the 2017-18 school year began in early September. However, the late start forced the school to add attendance days usually reserved for holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah and Martin Luther King Day, which made for a challenging transition into the school year.

“I thought that it was really difficult to go from the summer when we were not doing anything to no [weekdays] off,” said Vladhendras.

Even though the condensed schedule was not desirable for those who endured it, the reward of the new wing at the east campus made the experience worthwhile for some.

“[The building] is really nice, and someone was going to have to suffer [through the condensed schedule] so it might as well have been us,” said junior Francesca Mattozzi.