By Nicki Resnikoff
The Prefect Council has proposed a second break period in addition to the one on Mondays, which they hope will be approved and become effective early this year.
The idea was conceived at the beginning of last year. The proposal is meant to address the problem of a lack of free time at the Upper School.
“We came up with the idea to raise the morale of the school and to allow students and teachers to build relationships and improve communication,” Head Prefect Tessa Wick â09 said. “Itâs a stepping stone to solving all the problems.”
“The break gives students more time,” Prefect Aarti Rao â10 said. “We only have one break a week and thatâs taken up by fire drills or clubs most of the time. A second break will make the club program stronger.”
The proposed second break would be 25 minutes long and take place once a week. It would either take place each Friday or rotate Tuesday through Friday. Student support will probably determine which idea is used. The time of day is also undecided. The second break would not necessarily change school hours, though it might make the school day five minutes longer.
On the day with the extra break, each class would be five minutes shorter and it is proposed that athletic practices would end five minutes earlier. The rest of the week would remain unchanged.
In order for a proposal to be passed, it must be approved by the Prefect Council, its advisors, the Faculty Academic Committee, Head of School Dr. Jeanne Huybrechts and Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra. The proposal still has to be passed by the FAC, which will vote on it at its first meeting next Tuesday. If approved, the proposal may go into effect immediately.
So far, many of the Department Heads and other faculty members have shown support for the proposal on behalf of their departments.
Yet some teachers do not support the proposal because they do not want to lose five minutes of class.
“The hardest obstacle is the teachers that think they canât give up the class time,” Wick said.
Students who are not on the Prefect Council have been involved in and supportive of the passing of the proposal. The prefects made a petition available to sign. In a poll, they found a 92 percent positive response among students.
“Student support is the most powerful tool the school has,” Wick said. “There is nothing more powerful or important than the student body.”
A number of people, prefects and others spoke to dean groups during class meeting.
“Itâs one of the first times weâve really come together to support a cause,” Wick said.