Students Sour on Schedule

UPrep students and staff struggle to cope with the new online schedule


Photo: Aidan Lee

UPrep students have found trouble accustoming themselves to the lengthened online schedule.

As members of the University Prep community re-entered online learning from their homes, students and staff were presented with yet another challenge: online classes from 8:25 am to 2:30 pm, two and a half hours longer than the previous online schedule used in the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year.
Extended classes with prolonged breaks and community time allows for increased academic and social interaction. But increased device usage throughout the day leads to burnout among students.
“The main con is that the day is much longer,” junior Cade Evered said. “Although there are breaks, I think most people spend that time on screens still either doing work or procrastinating.”
While students still have the ability to interact with one-another outside of classes using screens, many miss the face-to-face interaction that in-person classes present.
“(I miss) the fact that I can just run into my teachers and my friends while in the hallways,” senior Joseph Yeung said.
Many other students have been struggling with the social aspect of online school, and sophomore Tuesday Sohn is no exception.
“Starting at a new school is kind of hard because you can’t gauge what people’s personalities are really like in real life,” Sohn said. “So it’s kind of hard to get to know people.” Students haven’t been the only ones working to connect through Zoom, as teachers have been experiencing similar challenges.

Just staring at a screen all day is challenging in itself, and then adding on these long classes and long spaces makes it even harder.”

— Senior Joseph Yeung

“It’s harder to gauge how engaged students are,” Spanish teacher Meg Anderson-Johnston said. “I don’t like just getting that (blank) feedback through Zoom. I find it a lot more challenging.”
A poll taken by the Puma Press found that members of the UPrep community had common criticisms of certain aspects of the schedule, including the length of lunch and time between classes.
“I think community time is a little long, and lunch is too short. 25 minutes is not long enough to make food and eat it,” an anonymous poll respondent said. “I might prefer to have community time at the end of the day like we did last year, so classes finish earlier. On the other hand, I think people would be much less likely to come to clubs or assembly,” another poll respondent said.
The new online schedule offers students a more social online learning experience, while also creating new challenges to overcome.
“If teachers are almost a little more understanding that it’s going to be harder to do top notch work, and it’s going to be harder to stay focused,” Yeung said, “that understanding would definitely help.”