Distance Learning should use A and B day scheduling

Why an alternating schedule would reduce stress for students and teachers alike


Annalise Fabricatore, Correspondent

As the COVID numbers continue to grow every week, the Stamford Public School board made the recommendation to transition to distance learning, starting on Monday, December 21, 2020 and hopefully returning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Online learning can have a lot of negative impacts on students; therefore, I believe the SPS board needs to be more aware of the students’ opinions in this situation. While livestreaming everyday may seem like the right decision, it just makes students feel more stressed with everything going on.

Teachers have told students that for a typical distance learning schedule, we would be on Google Meets for every class five days a week. I feel that this is very challenging for students to be staring at a screen from 7:25 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon, with only a short break for lunch. In addition, teachers are going to assign additional hours of homework, resulting in students being on the computer for even longer.

I’m not saying that there should be no Google Meets and homework at all, but it shouldn’t be an obsessive amount of work. I have experienced this when we shut down for the first time in March. I was working from early in the morning to late at night. I felt very overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of work I had to complete. However, once we switched to an A and B day schedule, the work was more manageable.

With an A and B day schedule, we would have four or three classes a day. This allows students to have enough time to complete the work for those classes without being inundated from every other class they are taking. We will also have time in between each class to have breaks from live Google Meet classes.

Many people argue that if we were at school normally, we would be going to all seven classes, so we should be doing that at home. However, at home, we aren’t socializing with anyone; when we go to school, we aren’t staring at a computer screen the entire time. This is strenuous on the eyes and it is not good for your mental health.

The National Institute of Health did a study in 2017 to show the effects of screen time. The study found that adults who watched TV or used their phone or computer for more than six hours a day were more likely to experience moderate to severe depression. Increased screen time creates loneliness, and sedentary behavior will only make this worse for us students.

I hope that the SPS board will consider this option as a remote learning schedule. I feel this is a very crucial option to help students manage their work through these unprecedented times.

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