By Audrey Wang
Starting last year, Winsor has been planning Community Time by days of the week rather than days of the cycle, with all-school assemblies being on Thursdays. However, these assemblies would frequently run over time and cut into the ten minutes allotted for snack, so many students would either skip the break or show up late to class. Hoping to amend the issue this year, Winsor has shortened the first period by five minutes and pushed the rest of the Thursday schedule back by ten minutes to ensure that students have a break before their second-period class starts.
While the schedule change allows students to eat their snack and take a break from classes, all class periods after assembly are ten minutes later, so the Thursday school days now end at 2:50 PM. Undoubtedly, this change has been controversial. In my experience, I’ve found it hard to get used to, especially since lunch starts at 12:55 PM instead of 12:45 PM. It can also be confusing because Wednesdays similarly have lunch at 12:55 PM, but, rather than extending the Wednesday schedule to 2:50 PM, we have a shorter lunch than usual. In this case, why don’t Thursdays have a shorter lunch to accommodate the 2:40 PM schedule? Additionally, when teachers sometimes forget and start teaching early, it can be harmful to students who arrive when the class is meant to start.
Overall, the main issue that students have with the extra time for assemblies is the fact that school has to end later. The late release also affects students who have commitments outside of school such as club sports or orchestra. If a student is forced to leave school ten minutes late on Thursdays, they could risk being late for their extracurricular activities. Mina Subramanian ’24 said: “I don’t like that the extra assembly time results in school ending ten minutes later, and I think the schedule should go back to how it was before.” In contrast, history teacher and Class V Dean Ms. Lieberman said: “I think the extra time is great! I like how it prevents assembly from cutting into class, and allowing students to get food is more important than ending school at 2:40 PM.”
Though there are contrasting opinions, there are ways that Winsor could find a middle ground. While Winsor could make the lunch period ten minutes shorter in order to resolve the issue, it’s crucial to consider whether or not the extra time for assemblies is even needed. Of course, it is inevitable that some assemblies will run longer or shorter depending on the content and the number of announcements, so snack time might be cut off every once in a while. However, there is usually enough time to grab a snack before class even without the extra time, and, if an assembly does end late, most teachers will allow students to finish their snacks at the beginning of class.