Administration should reimplement 9:30 a.m. Wednesday start

Arsh Aggarwal ’24

Last year, there was always something to look forward to in the week: Wednesday. That day where I may be able to get seven hours of sleep instead of six. The day where things could just slow down to let me prepare for the rest of the week. A day to get home earlier and relax a little. 

     I think it’s fair to say that as students attending this school, a lot is expected of us. Not only do classes and homework take a considerable amount of time, but many of us do sports, extracurricular activities, theater productions, and standardized test prep. Stress is added through the quarter system, where material that we would typically get half a year to learn is now crammed into eight short weeks. 

     With all of this work, weeks are bound to feel long, and that’s why the Wednesday late start was so effective. 

     “A very positive thing about last year’s schedule was that there was something to look forward to in the middle of the week,” sixth former Ethan Saddler said.  “As it stands now, the only thing to be gained from the current Wednesday schedule is a 30-minute later start, a time which is pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things.”

     However, there was some logic behind the decision to remove the 9:30 am start. With the new four-period quarters, classes had to be shortened, and it wasn’t feasible from a time perspective to have one day each week where classes were 15-20 minutes shorter. The amount of content covered would be lessened too much.

A student getting work done in the library – Pierce Laveran ’24

     Still, the problem arises in the distribution of that extra content gained by the lack of a significantly later Wednesday start. Even though more content is covered, I feel like retention of that content goes down if it is received without ample time given to process it. As I mentioned earlier, the late start at least gave me a chance to take a quick breath and slow everything down. Without this time to refocus, I feel like my retention of information I learn later in the week is not as optimized as it could be. 

     I don’t know much about running, but I do know that a short-distance runner hits faster speeds than a marathon runner. The point is, two short sprints in the week would be more efficient than a marathon towards Friday. 

Author: Arsh Aggarwal '24

Arsh Aggarwal is currently the Sr. Managing Editor of The Index. His previous roles were Editor of Features and Campus Opinions. In 2023, Arsh was awarded the First Place prize in the Pennsylvania Press Club Annual High School Journalism Contest for his piece titled "SAT going digital in 2024",