OPHS should enact minimum days on Friday

During the two minimum days on Nov. 3 and 4, we realized how effective it would be if OPHS followed the minimum day schedule every Friday. 

Every student only had school for a total of forty-five minutes on Fridays last year during remote learning. After forty-five minutes of instructional teaching, students were able to work on homework and start preparing for the week ahead. Why was that taken away? Wouldn’t we need the spare time even more this year because we are still adjusting to being back in person? 

Last year, the abridged day helped and improved our mental health. This year, students have even more homework, leaving very little to no time for activities they enjoy.

If the schedule were to change so students meet with teachers on a half-day on Friday, they could use the rest of the day for self-care activities, catching up on homework and studying. On the weekends, students should not be doing homework. Weekends should be spent enjoying extracurricular activities and students’ passions. 

So what would the schedule be if there were minimum days on Fridays? If there were minimum days, we could follow the Minimum Day Schedule of OPHS on Fridays — a regular three-period day but 1 hour per class and dismissal at 12:10 p.m. This way, students will still get their instructional time at school and time to catch up with their homework and personal passions. By law, California requires students to spend at least 240 instructional minutes at school over any two block days on average. 

You may be thinking, ‘but what about the parents who have to work later and can’t pick up their kids early?’ Well, students can drive home with friends and coordinate carpools and still get a ride home. 

Referring to Education Code Section 47612.5 – California Legislative, (link for information) we are hoping to see these legislative barriers change in the future for all the reasons described above. If students were able to learn material and teachers were able to teach their curriculum during distance learning, then we can do it again this year, too. Students can positively benefit from minimum days in many different ways, which is why there should be minimum days every Friday.