Aspects of KO’s online learning schedule provide opportunities to improve next year’s programming

Editorial

All of our lives have certainly been affected in numerous ways as a result of the global pandemic. School life, particularly for those in the KO community, has been altered tremendously since March break. The biggest change that both teachers and students alike have had to navigate is the new online-learning schedule. Despite the new schedule being somewhat uncomfortable at first, there are many aspects of the schedule that should be implemented next year when we hopefully make the return to on-campus learning.

The 9:00 a.m. start time each day is loved by most every student and teacher. It allows time for extra rest and preparation for the long day ahead. Since right now we have no commute to school, as the farthest we have to travel is maybe to our basement or kitchen, it would make sense to implement the 9:00 a.m. start time next year when some actually have to make a long trip to KO. In addition to this later start time allowing time to school commute, it would also allow those who spend long nights completing work and studying—which is practically every student in the KO community—to get the proper rest they need. When learning on-campus, everyone has more on their plate; there are clubs to take part in, sports games and practices to attend, more homework to complete, larger assessments to prepare for, and thus, there is more stress. Therefore, each day is packed with activities and things to get done not only for students, but also for teachers and administrators as well; implementing the 9:00 a.m. start time would ease the stresses of daily life, allowing us to sleep a bit later in order to get the proper rest needed to function at our best.

The long lunch break in the middle of the day would also be a great addition to next year’s schedule, especially if we have to practice some form of social distancing in the fall. Having a longer lunch period would allow students to enter the lunchroom staggered, so fewer people are in one room at a time. Although a longer lunch break would mean elongating the day’s schedule as a whole, this could be feasible if fall sports are not in session due to the need for continued social distancing. The school day could go until 3:30 p.m. like it is for online learning if a longer lunch period is instituted. 

Longer breaks in between classes would also be a great aspect of the online-learning schedule that could be carried into next year’s programming. When learning on-campus, the schedule allows for, at most, five minutes to get to your next class. Oftentimes, the next class is across campus and if a teacher lets the class out on time or even two minutes early instead of five, it is nearly impossible to get to your next class on time. Thus, adding a five to seven minute break into the schedule, rather than having students rely on their teachers to let them out of class five minutes early, would be very useful. It would also ease the stress most students feel when they realize they have very little time to get to their next class. A break between classes would also be very convenient if we return to campus next fall with social distancing guidelines in place. The stairwells and hallways would be less crowded as students and teachers would not be rushing to make it to their destination on time.

Having advisee group at the end of the day with online-learning is preferable to many students and teachers. Having had a full day of school, there is much more to talk about in advisee group. In addition, it is nice to have time at the end of the day to simply chill, especially if sports resume in the winter and spring. Moreover, a time to relax after classes would give athletes and coaches a break prior to their hard work and effort on the field. Going directly from a stressful class to sports is very demanding, so having advisee group at the end of the day would allow for a bit more time to unwind.

The online-learning schedule has provided many interesting changes from our normal, on-campus schedule. Some of these alterations have proven to be very beneficial to both students and teachers alike and should be considered as additions to next year’s schedule if we return to campus in the fall.