We’re back in school, what should we keep?


Returning to school resulted in some scheduling changes, but there are some things we should keep that we had during our 100% virtual phase.

Deciding to go online for the start of the 2020-2021 school year has allowed for North Penn to explore and test some different things with how the school day is run. Different schedules and new ways of being in class is a staple of the irregular year we have gone through. Some of these changes were for the better and need to be kept when students return to the building.

The first thing that needs to be kept when the building is opened back up is the one hour break. The one hour break in the day, currently after 5th period, was something that students and staff alike needed. The break allowed teachers to get work graded as well as allow them to prep for classes later in the day. For students, this hour break was a time to catch up on missing assignments as well as get ahead on homework. Everyone felt that this downtime was something that was needed and allowed people to get slight downtime during the day that could be very stressful and taxing. The hour block was new but something that should be kept for future school years.

Early Dismissals on Friday is a must keep. Early dismissals on all Fridays are one of the best things the district has decided to do this school year. Both teachers and students are still working out issues with online school which results in a more taxing week. The early dismissal provides something to look forward to and a well deserved shortened school day to all within North Penn.

Within this school year alone, we have experienced a multitude of bell schedules. Now might be the time to switch around the daily schedule for good. With most of North Penn’s students having a full 8-period schedule currently, the day is fairly long and stressful. Switching to a schedule with less time during the period could give students the opportunity to get home earlier and not be up late doing homework. This could be the chance to have longer classes with block scheduling. Block scheduling offers the alternative of 8 classes a day to only possibly 4 or 5. students would have to be able to focus more intently on the class and be worried about far less homework because of fewer classes.

The option to stay home on any given day is something that should stay forever, not only at North Penn but at schools across the country. Virtual school is something that has worked for a lot of schools and if students feel more comfortable going virtual full time why should they not have the option to? The virtual school would eliminate the need for students to miss school when feeling sick which in turn allows students to keep up with their classes and the curriculum. The adding of days to the end of the school year because of inclement weather would also be eliminated completely. A number of students also travel a decent distance to school and allowing them to stay home would be very cost-effective.

The district has made a lot of changes to what a typical North Penn would look like but, the changes could be for the better. Having these changes put in place with the right measures could be a great enhancement to North Penn for many school years to come.