Why A/B Scheduling Is Detrimental


Allie Gonzalez, Staff Writer

The Stamford Board of Education swiftly decided to switch to an A/B timetable. This change was made because some students lacked the credits necessary for graduation (Now that students are required to graduate with 25 credits, instead of 20). Compared to our prior plan, the new one allows students to earn one additional credit year. Despite the fact that our new schedule was designed to benefit students’ academic prospects, I think it has only negatively impacted their attitudes towards school.

I believe that four blocks of 90 minutes are intimidating for both teachers and students. It’s challenging to fill a large amount of time. It is difficult for teachers to maintain pupils’ interest and engagement. In my own experience, it is really tiring to find that I still have an hour of the same class after checking at the time. It feels extremely rewarding when some of my instructors offer us a few five-minute breaks during the term. However, the others just teach/lecture throughout the entire period, which makes the periods feel long and painful. Similarly, now that many students are taking study halls, it is nearly impossible for students to commit to attending a study hall, even more than before. This encourages students to leave, regardless of attendance policies. 

Another point I would like to add is that I and many other students miss the passing time we had with our old schedule. Our 7-block schedule granted students the opportunity to see friends, stretch, and take a quick break seven times each day. Now, with an A/B schedule, we only have four transition periods. This time is something I didn’t realize I liked so much until I lost it. The change of scenery was really nice throughout the day. 

One last point that I would like to bring up is about our new lunch wave slots, more specifically regarding wave one. As a student who has first wave lunch on both A and B days, it is extremely early. We start our wave at 10:29 a.m. This is around 20 minutes earlier than the first wave last year, which was already early for many. Similar to my previous point regarding passing times, lunch acts as a break from class. When it is as early as it is now, it can make the second half of the day feel even longer. 

In conclusion, I would argue that the schedule we had prior, with seven periods in one day, allowed for a more welcoming and less intimidating environment. After being nearly a month into the A/B schedule, I can predict that this year will feel much longer than previous ones. No student wants that feeling.