Our New Schedule is Good

So Please, Please, Please Stop Complaining

Before March 2020 the Parker’s Upper School operated on an outdated schedule that was extremely user-unfriendly. It featured a six class Monday that ended at 3:50, a constant start time of 8:10 and an excess of MX blocks resulting in MX being more of a time-filler than the unique and educational component of Parker it should be. Yet, as Parker shuttered its doors in March of 2020, the Upper School finally experienced a schedule that actually fit the (albeit weird) times. 

But, just as our pre-pandemic schedule didn’t fit 2019, the pandemic schedules of the past that featured later start times, longer lunches and free Wednesdays are no longer feasible. In most schools the administration would have simply reverted back to the pre-pandemic schedule and called it a day,but to the administration’s credit (more specifically Mr. Arnold, Mr. Bruno and especially Mr. Carlsson), they chose to do the hard thing and make a schedule from scratch—something that is not an easy task in a truly K-12 school. 

When the schedule was eventually released, not everyone was a fan. While nothing is perfect and people will always be mad, a strong dislike of our new schedule is simply foolish—and unrealistic. What people who complain fail to understand is that if we compare our new schedule to the almighty March 2020 schedule, then of course it’s disappointing, but if we compare it to the alternative, our pre-pandemic schedule, then it is the greatest change to student life in years. Just as importantly, this new schedule signifies a crucial return to the Parker administration  prioritizing the student body and their interests. 

Nothing showcases this more than our new schedule that features a majority of days (tree of five) where a significant number of students don’t start class until 9 a.m.. This partial incorporation of our pandemic schedule is going to result in the student body getting a better quality and quantity of sleep along with providing a proof of concept for how in person school could realistically fully start at 9 a.m. (something that could be incorporated in future schedules). 

Yet, just as the student body expressed their love for later starts in surveys by the Parker administration, they expressed their hatred for six class days (like our pre-pandemic Mondays). While most students will still have one six class day (due to it being mathematically impossible to totally eliminate), roughly one third of students won’t, and no student will have two six class days, something that was common pre-pandemic. 

Along with the aforementioned changes, the new schedule features a reduction to the number of MXs in a standard month from 12 to 9. This 25% decrease in MX time is going to allow the student body to have more time to meet with teachers, get ahead on work, change their fantasy football lineup, attend club meetings, and countless other positive developments to fill the newly opened 135 minutes per month. In addition to all this good, the drop in available MXs should hopefully boost the quality of all other MXs. 

Lastly, Parker Student Government will be returning to Fridays,  this time in the afternoon. While this may slow productivity at plenaries (they will be engaging, so it shouldn’t be a problem), this new change will allow the student body for the most part to go into lunch having only one academic class left, something that will be pretty…prettttty…pretttty good. 

In total, while this next schedule certainly could have been better (timing of physical education + music/art classes with Clark/Websters), it is miles ahead of our pre-pandemic schedule, which is the alternative. So, instead of complaining, just please thank the administration for their work to keep Parker safe and for drafting truly 60 different schedules so they could find the one that worked.