Students React to New Phase II Schedule


Photo courtesy of Gaelvision.

How do the students truly feel about the new Phase 2 schedule? There have been many changes to how we have been attending Roxbury High School this school year. The 2021 school year has been a year with many different schedule changes because of the Covid-19 pandemic. These hybrid schedules are meant to allow students to get a good education while staying safe. The students, in particular, have been greatly affected by the mass number of changes to the schooling schedules, and many students are voicing their opinions about it.

A poll was conducted and students from Roxbury High School were asked three questions which were:

  1. “How has your experience been since we started the new Phase 2?”
  2. “How have you liked or disliked this schedule when in comparison to the other schedules that have been conducted this school year?”
  3. “Do you believe that we will be able to get back to school full time or will we continue with this phase for the rest of the school year?”

In the past, the Phase 1 schedule included attending in-person school two days a week with last name letters A-L attending on Tuesdays and Thursdays and letters M-Z attending on Wednesdays and Fridays. They declared the two groups the Blue and Gold Cohorts with A-L named the Blue Cohort and M-Z the Gold Cohort. This meant that all students were to be virtual on Mondays which was a full-day schedule. On those days, the students would go to all 8 of their classes from seven-thirty in the morning to around two o’clock in the afternoon. When students went into school on whichever two days between Tuesday and Friday they were assigned to, they would arrive between seven-fifteen to seven twenty-five for school to start at seven twenty-six. Students who weren’t in school for the two days out of the four would log on remotely and follow their classes through google meet. The school days went on for four hours with students going to four of their eight blocks. After the four hours, the in-person learning was over at 11:27 and there were office hours for students to log on with their teachers to get extra help if they needed it. 

The new Phase 2 schedule started on Monday, March 8th and it appears to be operating quite well. It is much different than the students of Roxbury High School because we are now operating at full capacity. The Phase 2 schedule has all students attending school at the same time Monday through Friday for four hours at a time. After the four hours go by, there are office hours for the students to join the google meet for help like in Phase 1. Some students still partake in virtual learning where they stream into the google meets every day, but more kids are currently in-school learners than online learners. 

There are tons of pros and cons to the phase 1 schedule. One pro of Phase 1 is that there were four-hour school days which limits time and exposure inside the building and keeps everyone distanced safely away from each other. Another pro of Phase 1 is that students were able to attend in-person learning twice a week, which is beneficial for learning. Lastly, the third pro of Phase 1 is that there were office hours twice a week for each class in case students needed assistance from a teacher. A con of the Phase 1 schedule is that only being in the building for four hours twice a week allowed students to be virtual for much longer, which might be a struggle for some students. Another con from Phase 1 is students only see half of their classmates in-person. A third con is that students only get to see their teachers in-person once a week because one day of in-person was an A-day and the other day was a B-day. 

As for phase 1, there are plenty of pros and cons for the Phase 2 schedule. A pro for the Phase 2 schedule is students go in-person learning for five days a week which is super accommodating for students and teaches because everyone can learn and teach for more hours in school. A second advantage of the Phase 2 schedule is that both cohorts get to be together in the classroom at the same time, which is a great social benefit. Also, a third benefit of the Phase 2 schedule is that it is four hours long so students can be in and out of the building without that much exposure which helps when it comes to safety. One disadvantage of the Phase 2 schedule is that students are more likely to be closer together in the classrooms and hallways because there are more students together in class at once. A second con is that there are lots of students that are still virtual, so when the teachers want to do things in groups it can be difficult to work with someone in person when you’re online or vise versa. Finally, a third downside of the schedule is that students have lots of pressure on themselves to be extremely efficient when it comes to work because often each period is too short to get all of our work done in class. 

One of the three questions that were asked in the poll was, “How has your experience been since we started the new phase 2?” The Phase 2 schedule is very controversial in terms of the way students personally feel about it because it is relatively new. Ciara Rodriguez, who is a senior at Roxbury High School stated, “I love being in school every day, but it is a little crowded and hard to social distance.” This is pretty understandable because there are more kids in the building, which would mean less space for all of the students and teachers in each classroom and the hallways. Another response was from Kendra Haughey who is a freshman at RHS. She claims, “It felt too crowded but I liked being there every day and seeing everyone.” This proves that many students felt that it was nice to be in the building but it was overpopulated when it came to needing to be socially distanced. 

The second question from the poll was, “How have you liked or disliked this schedule when in comparison to the other schedules that have been conducted this year.” This has been very debatable recently because the schedule is new and many people have different opinions about Phase 2. Freshman Kylie Haughey filled out the poll and said, “This week felt long since we’re going every day but I think it’s good that we’re going every day.” Going in person to school five days a week is a large adjustment for students because there wasn’t the option to go in-person all week until this Phase 2 schedule. Connor Stark, who is also a freshman, voiced: “I like it better with more people and it’s a lot less awkward and I get to see more of my friends.” 

The last question from the poll read, “Do you believe that we will be able to get back to school full time, or will we continue with this phase for the rest of the school year?” The answer to this question is unknown at this time, but many people have predictions on what the future will entail. Freshman Brandon Barros commented, “[I think] we will continue this schedule with the voice of virtual and half days.” This particular student deeply believes that this Phase 2 schedule will be the schedule that we will practice for the rest of the school year. Freshman Hailey Errichiello stated, “We will continue for the rest of the year with this schedule. The transition will be too rough even if it’s safe.” This shows how many students believe that Phase 2 will be the schedule that will work well and be the schedule that will be used for the remainder of the year. 

The biggest debate is which schedule is better for the students, and that is truly hard to decide because safety needs to be factored in as well as joy and full learning opportunities for students and teachers. All teachers and students have been doing a wonderful job staying positive and working to the best of their abilities even during these tough times. There is so much unknown for how our schooling system will be in the future because of Covid-19. Although this has been a tough year filled with many changes regarding school, we must stay positive and be grateful for our education.