Is It Time for a Schedule Change?


I am startled awake by the buzzing sound of my alarm clock; it stings my ears and the numbers on the clock glare at me, but I ignore their warning. I wrap myself back up in the covers and continue to sleep.

Suddenly, my alarm sounds again, and I force myself to climb out of bed and face the reality of another school day. Though I feel overly stressed and sleep deprived, I sprint out the door just in time to catch the bus.

This is a typical start to a school day for many high school students, leaving teens tired and without enough sleep.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Teens need more sleep because they are in a time of very fast physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. Although getting enough sleep may not seem like that big of a deal, medical research shows that teens who usually get too little sleep are more likely to struggle in school.”

So how can we help these struggling students catch up on their sleep?

Some have suggested shifting to a four-day school week.

In fact, the Independence School District plans to shift to this four-week structure in the 2023–2024 school year.

This transition leaves people wondering if the change will be beneficial, and many people have differing opinions.

Hailey Hardwood, Sophomore

Sophomore Hailey Hardwood enjoys the five-day week of the current schedule. She says, “It keeps me busy and productive.” Also, “I like staying after school a lot… I joined the crew for the school theater. After that ended, I joined debate.”

On the other hand, sophomore Megan Boron states that she does not enjoy five-day weeks because “full-day weeks don’t really give students the mental breaks they need as teenagers.”

Boron continues by stating that Monday would be the more beneficial day off because “I feel like people struggle the most” on that day.

Megan Boron, Sophomore

She also suggests switching Mondays to AMI days, explaining that it would “keep us [students] busy and more relaxed at the same time.” She adds, “I feel like students really need a break, especially when we wake up early every day. It is important for our age group to get the rest we need.”

Miranda Bagwell, Sophomore

Another opinion comes from Miranda Bagwell, a sophomore, who explains, “I think we should keep five days because making fewer days would be just as much work.” Also, she believes that “cutting out school days would not fix behavioral problems because high school students take advantage of privileges… No matter how many privileges you give students, they will always find a way to not be able to handle them.”

Junior Amiyah Starks considers the positives and negatives when thinking about adjusting the school week. She

Amiyah Starks, Junior

explains, “Cutting the week short would give us a good break… and the day I would prefer to have off is Mondays just because they bring out the most stress.”

However, Starks continues, “A negative that comes with this is shorter breaks, and we would have shorter summers.”

Clearly, students have multiple opinions about adjusting the school schedule to a four-day week. Each option offers benefits for students but is accompanied by negatives, as well.

As the Independence School District explores this new school schedule, maybe it will inspire Blue Springs to make a future change.