Anchor days need to go

The hectic anchor days cause students more stress through its inconsistency


Sophie Meyer

New Trier continues implementing the chaotic and inconsistent Anchor days, adding more stress to students schedules

As I finally set down my calculator, I glance over at the clock reading 11:00 p.m. Eager to finally get some me-time, I grab my phone and am ready to start unwinding. 

But I realize I have two major assessments and an additional math homework assignment due the next day, an anchor day. I had become so used to the blue /green block schedule that the often-removed anchor day completely flew over my head. 

This schedule is too irregular to depend on and its inconsistency makes it seem as though students are somehow supposed to assume which months we will need more support and which months we won’t.

The inconsistency of the color-coded scheduling has definitially added pressure to my school week.

New Trier should stop implementing anchor days into our schedules and, instead, return to the more logical scheduling structure of only having Green and Blue Days. 

The school’s scheduling tactics in the last four years have been, what I’d like to call, experimental. Even so, the 2023 senior class has had a different schedule for each year of their high school career. But it has been helpful to me, through the last few years, to test out how I learn best and what organizational scheduling method best supports my own productivity. 

I am most productive when I’m at home. I like to lay out all my assignments and lock myself in my absolutely silent room until my work is done. At school, I feel I am unable to do this. 

So, when it comes to anchor days and I have hours free at school, I get nothing done. Even when I aim to complete certain tasks and try to find a quiet space, the library becomes flooded with other kids who seem to have the same issue I do. Consequently, the library gets fuller and the room noisier. 

At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, I was hopeful that the anchor days would relieve some of my anxiety surrounding school work load. Yet, because we often had a modified schedule which eliminated anchor days at times, those gold-colored Wednesdays have become like a jump scare to me. 

Although I like the idea that I could potentially meet with teachers if need be, I am someone who would rather meet with them on days which are less crowded and chaotic. Also, when I do need to arrange a meeting with one of my teachers, I do it immediately and usually cannot afford to wait until the next anchor day or I will just fall behind even more.

Undoubtedly this schedule works well for some of my peers, but to me anchor days lack structure and feel like just another opportunity for teachers to pile on homework or assessments. Not only do I feel unproductive on these Wednesdays but they also just feel inconsistent. 

In fact, last September we only had one anchor day, in March we had four. This schedule is too irregular to depend on and its inconsistency makes it seem as though students are somehow supposed to assume which months we will need more support and which months we won’t.

Because of this, I never plan on using an anchor day to, say, get missing assignments in or meet with a teacher as rarely do my periods of academic struggle actually coincide with these dreaded hump days. 

Although I approve of the way that the school does not follow the daily 9 period bell schedule that many schools around us do, as a junior I now am most familiar and comfortable with the longer 85 minute class blocks. So, even the environment within my classrooms during an anchor day feels hectic. 

I think it is best to say “bye” to the infamous anchor days and realize the confusion, inconsistency and additional stress they have potentially brought to us.  And to resolve this issue, it is important that we return to a schedule only including the green and blue reliable block schedule school days. If it’s not broken, why fix it? It’s time to reclaim our old rhythm, one bell ring at a time.