Schedule Changes Challenge Students and Teachers

Audrey Whitfield, Staff Writer

Frequent schedule changes have been occurring at Monroe-Woodbury this school year due to COVID-19, and these changes are affecting both students and teachers.  

According to Dr. Eric Hassler, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, the reason for the many changes is that they wanted to reintroduce the students to the school in phases. They always wanted some students to have the option to be remote, and they slowly wanted to introduce in-person students. 

“Due to the schedule changes, it’s been especially difficult to maintain a constant, healthy sleep schedule,” said sophomore Emily Tavares. “Also, when we have constant schedule changes, I feel like it’s harder to accommodate my social life with all the school work and extracurriculars I have throughout the week.” 

Sophomore Laila Mustafa thinks that the schedule changes are hard to get used to. 

“Once a change is made and I finally get adjusted to it, it changes. It’s just overwhelming.” said Mustafa. 

On the hand, senior Samantha Larkin said the schedule changes have not affected her much. 

“…schedule changes affect [not only] stress levels, but it also affects other facets of life, including [students] sleep schedules, motivation, and family life,” said sophomore Matthew Graves. Graves said he believes that the constant schedule changes are stressful to parents who have to provide rides and child care, when the school changes starting and ending at different times, and switching back and forth between hybrid and remote. 

When the district considers a schedule change, they often send out a parent questionnaire to get the parents’ input. There are some student representatives on the committees in the school, including the Reopening Committee.

According to Dr. Hassler, the administration asked the student representatives what their views were on reopening plans, and they said, “‘Whatever you do, you do it K-12.’” 

This also helps ensure parents have a clear plan of what all their students in different grades are doing. 

Teachers are also affected by the many schedule changes. 

“Covid has brought us many challenges but trying to juggle online, asynchronous, hybrid, in-person, with the frequently changing schedules has been the biggest hurdle to overcome,” said physics teacher Mr. Fracchia.

Ms. Santoianni, a Physical Education teacher said “Sometimes it was exhausting and I felt like ‘Am I even making a difference?’  but looking back at it I think I have connected to some students in ways I would not have connected before.”

Santoianni also said “Sometimes challenges are placed in front of us so that we seize the opportunity to grow.”

According to Dr. Hassler the district will continue to watch the numbers and will listen to the CDC and health department guidelines, and make adjustments as necessary.