No More Mask Breaks? Next Year’s School Schedule

Entrance to Nonnewaug High School, where the next year awaits new students and new schedule changes.

Neal Waites

Entrance to Nonnewaug High School, where the next year awaits new students and new schedule changes.

Neal Waites, Reporter

WOODBURY — When news first broke out about next year’s school schedule, it sparked many questions about the changes it would bring during an average school day. From mask breaks to laps around the school, this is what we should expect for next year’s schedule.  

Next year’s schedule change will take us from block periods (90-minute periods with odd and even days) to the old schedule (seven periods 45-50 minutes long with Tuesday and Wednesday being even and odd 90-minute block days).

The change was put in place after a law was passed where teachers were not allowed to have lunch breaks shorter than 30 minutes. The current schedule didn’t quite reach that requirement, so next year’s schedule needed an update. 

This will bring many changes to when and where we will be in our classes, including class time that will most likely be fast-paced with much less downtime and much more learning packed into shorter periods.

Students are already starting to form opinions about the upcoming changes. 

“I prefer alternating block periods because it gives me time to complete my assignments, and I don’t get as overwhelmed with all of the things I have to remember throughout the day,” said Makenna Santerre, junior at Nonnewaug. “I think that taking a break is a very good way to help people study and retain information, it’s proven to help mental health with school and all over life.”

Of course, students won’t be the only people affected by this schedule change. Many teachers have their own opinions on next year’s changes. 

I think that next year … will work out better for many students,” said Kristen Pisano, math teacher at NHS. “While teaching this year, I can say that my period 7 class is performing at a higher average due to students learning small amounts and having a little practice every day, as opposed to some of my classes only meeting twice a week.”

The change in schedule has many people talking about what to expect next year. Opinions vary from excitement to worry. Some people are more than ready for a change, while others worry about what those changes will bring.

One change is the near-complete elimination of brain breaks. This affects everyone at Nonnewaug — from students to teachers — and it may very well be a possibility that this year won’t be the last time NHS will see brain breaks, as many people are expressing their love for the breaks in between class time. 

Depending on your stance on brain breaks, they are either well-needed and will be missed dearly, or they are a waste of time and we’d be better off without them.

I liked having brain breaks because it helps us work harder knowing we will get a break,” said Danni Syrotiak, a junior.

“I think that teachers should have the choice to take one with their class once in a while,” said Pisano. “There are many benefits to taking a brain break; however, I do not see this happening on a daily basis.”

Next year’s schedule brings many changes, some of which people are excited about, while others worry about what will be lost. There will be benefits to next year’s schedule, as well as some downsides. Overall, next year’s school schedule is a necessary change.