The Debate: Early Out Fridays

Teacher and student review this year's Friday schedule

Spanish+class+during+a+regular+school+day+schedule.

Torch staff

Spanish class during a regular school day schedule.

Tasha Gilkison, Writer

Falling behind in classes and reworking courses…or finishing homework and having more free time?

This is what has sparked a debate among Kennedy High School students and staff. All schools in the Cedar Rapids Community School District switched to a new schedule for the 2016-2017 school year and classes are now dismissed an hour and a half early every Friday.

For Kennedy High School, this means that classes are shortened from 48 to 38 minutes on Fridays, with no Smart Lunch included.

For Lexi Wheeler, fr., early dismissals means more time to finish homework and to hang out with friends. Classes are shorter, yet the teachers are still efficient.

“I think teachers actually get right to the point, and students pay attention longer,” Wheeler said.

However, the different schedule also means no SMART Lunch. Wheeler doesn’t like ‘A-B-C-D’ lunch because she can’t get anything done, and you can’t choose who you eat with.

The amount of time taken out for lunch has largely impacted teachers.

“For one, we always gave weekly assessments on Fridays. Now, Fridays are too short to give tests. I’ve had to rework two out of my three classes now,” Alex Neff, math teacher, said.

Some teachers say stress has already been added to the teachers’ daily workload with the addition of another class this school year.

“After students are dismissed, the regular Friday in-service meetings for teachers, from 1:30 to 3:30 are difficult. The meetings come at a time in the day when teachers are completely spent,” Neff said.

Neff believes a better solution for in-service meetings would be a meeting on Monday mornings following with a late start for students.