As part of the new schedule, a time period called Community Time has replaced Personal Learning Block as a free period where students are free to do what they like, whether it’s meeting with teachers, hosting club meetings, studying, or hanging out with friends.
Community Time occurs four times a week for around 35 to 40 minutes. Some key differences between Community Time and PLB are that Community Time is more frequent and shorter. Dean of Students Kata Baker touched upon the goal of Community Time, which was to bring the whole school closer more often. “It guarantees that almost every day, we have this block of time,” she said. Ms. Baker noted how PLBs occurred once per week, and were frequently used for schoolwide activities such as assemblies. “Hopefully there will be less of an impact on student free time because there’s so many blocks.” she said. Senior Andrew La
Croix agreed with this, noting how Community Time guarantees that everybody is free at least once a day.
Ms. Baker noted another goal of Community Time was to allow clubs to meet regularly outside of lunch blocks. Due to flipped lunch and class blocks for upper and lower classmen, meeting during lunch periods can be difficult for students who eat during different blocks. Now, with Community Time, students can all meet together without having to move around and missing other commitments. “I like how clubs are able to meet more consistently,” junior Pindar Chen said. “This year, with a regulated schedule of when clubs meet, it makes organizing things much easier.”
Sophomore Jackson Poulin agreed. “It creates a lot of time to have freedom and creativity schoolwide,” he said, “and it’s even better as a club leader because we can do what we need to do as a club without worrying about someone being unavailable or out of the picture.”
Community Time also makes meetings with teachers more convenient. It gives students more opportunities to meet with their teachers, which can be helpful, especially when students don’t share any free periods with their teachers. “I like that if I don’t have any free periods during a certain day, I would at least have Community Time to meet with a teacher, get work done, or just have an overall break,” senior Diya Mistri said. Ms. Baker added onto this, noting how students are now able to meet with teachers much more easily without having to book extra time.
Another perk of Community Time is that students can also just hang out with each other. “It gives students the opportunity to do nothing and have, every so often, a day where they’re just relaxing,” Ms. Baker said. “Having that time where you know you’re going to be free and be able to connect with peers is nice as well.” Some other goals of Community Time are to allow more leadership workshops opportunities, as well as Wyvern Wellness. Junior Andy Chen noted being able to hang out with friends as a highlight of community time. Students are also free to study with each other and do homework.
Next week, both black (hobby-oriented) clubs and red (goal-oriented) clubs will start to meet, which can overlap at times. Ms. Baker mentioned how different ideas and plans for community time can overlap and can cause a bit of an issue. “Clubs are just starting the week after next and then we’ll have a better sense of what this feels like and if there are things that we need to change,” she said. Diya agreed, saying how sometimes different clubs meet at the same time, which can be a struggle for students who want to attend both meetings.
Within the first few weeks of the school year, Community Time has proven to be a success among faculty and students. Whether it be time spent meeting with teachers, attending a club meeting, or simply relaxing, students and faculty alike are grateful for its addition to the schedule this year.