Starting this year, Ridgewood High School has drastically changed its schedule. Students have not only been affected by the new fifty and eighty minute schedule, but also by the change in enrichment days. In an email sent out to the entire school in August, the administration addressed how enrichment days would be held on Fridays for the 2018-2019 school year. For the past few years, these special days were typically granted one Wednesday a month, giving the students more time to sleep as they struggled to get through the second half of the week. This break of tradition has certainly rocked the population at RHS, leaving students and faculty members either satisfied or disappointed with the change.
For those who were left dumbfounded by this decision, the question of its necessity arose. According to Mr. Basil Pizzuto, Grade Advisor and Assistant Principal at RHS, the idea to switch enrichment days from Wednesdays to Fridays came about after an administration meeting surrounding the new eighty minute schedule. With this change, the only logical way to cut the time was to take thirty minutes off of each eighty minute period. However, the administration decided that it would be unfair to shorten a class’ only eighty minute period for the week. Instead, since Mondays and Fridays always fall on the same day of the rotating schedule, the school concluded that most logical place for enrichment days is on Fridays because each class will have already met on an eighty minute period for the week.
The Friday enrichment days have received mixed reviews from students and teachers alike. Reagan Nielsen, a junior, has been able to adjust to it. “At first I didn’t like it, but now I do. It’s a nice start to Fridays and makes them ever better. Wednesday enrichment days were nice because they were in the middle of the week but it hasn’t affected me that much.” Bennett Suh, a sophomore, feels differently. “I prefer them to be on Wednesdays because they act as a midweek break. I feel like Friday sleep-ins are unnecessary because the adrenaline rush just for the fact that it is Friday makes people excited for the end of the week. They won’t be tired in class compared to a Wednesday where everyone does not want to be at school.” Clearly, students feel divided over the issue.
On the other hand, the new enrichment day schedule makes a teacher’s life much easier. Mrs. Truncale, one of the math teachers at RHS, is glad that enrichment days were moved to Friday. “It was harder to plan lessons for enrichment days when they were in the middle of the week. The shorter period interrupted what I was in the middle of teaching my students. On Friday’s, though, I have already taught a majority of the lesson and I’m not as worried about planning.” Some teachers and students agree that the change is positive, although for different reasons, but a majority of the school, especially the student population, is divided by Friday enrichment days.
It is too early to assess whether or not changing enrichment days from Wednesday to Friday was a smart move, or if the administration will change the schedule yet again. As the months go by, take some time to think about how this change has impacted you, if it has at all. Do you prefer Friday or Wednesday enrichment days, or are both acceptable?
James Ellinghaus & Katie Hu
Graphic: Amelia Chen