Not Just a Few Minutes: We Need Passing Time!

By Ainsley Wang and Natalie Cooper

Imagine this: the clock strikes 11:30am, and you dash out of U.S. Literature. The Upper School hallway is already flooded with students racing to their next classes or to lunch. After struggling through the masses, you burst through the door of your Spanish class to find all of the class’ eyes on you. The class rhythm has been interrupted: this is a daily occurrence for many Winsor students. 

Many students, including Gwen Castro ’24, have noted that “last year we had a 20 minute passing period, so it has been difficult to adjust to not having one at all.” Ms. Gangi said,“ I really liked that last May when we returned to in-person learning we had passing time. I think having those few extra minutes helps students arrive on time and class getting ready to start on time.” Though we may not need 20 entire minutes of passing time, even a few minutes would be preferable to none.

It’s nearly impossible to get from one class to the next on time. “I would consider myself really punctual, but given that on average it takes me at least two minutes to get to my next class I’ve just been late really often,” said Hannah Mu ’24.  

Furthermore, our lack of passing time does not only affect one class. When asked if teachers let students out a couple of minutes early, Ms. Gangi replied, “Sometimes I do, if we finish what we are doing earlier, but other times I use the entire time allotted to my class.” According to Ms. Gangi, it sometimes takes around 10 minutes for students to get settled before she can begin class. Teachers have to use the rest of the block fulfilling their lesson plan before students can be released. The minutes lost during each class can snowball into a bigger problem where time is taken away from each subsequent class and every class is disrupted. 

Overall, there was virtually no counter-argument that supported the lack of passing time, but students, including Sofie Robinson ’24, have said that they would “prefer not having passing time to having a longer school day”

Though passing time may only be a mere five minutes between classes, every single minute matters. During this time, students can fill their water bottles, go to the bathroom, take a short mental break, and even quickly check in with a teacher. But without it, students must constantly leave during class time, disrupting the learning flow and routine. Passing time is essential to an efficient, productive academic schedule. In the wise words of Ms. Gangi, “it would be better for all of us to have passing time.”