School assesses virtual learning schedule

Tanisha Gunby

The Schedule Committee gave a presentation to upper school teachers Dec. 2 to discuss the findings of a school-wide survey about the new block schedule.  The school conducted the survey anonymously in order to ensure honest responses; it garnered over 600 student responses and additional faculty responses.

Schedule Committee Co-Chair Heather Audesirk presented the results of a survey reviewing the block schedule.

Science teacher and Schedule Committee Co-Chair Heather Audesirk analyzed the survey to determine general trends in the data. The survey questioned students and faculty on several topics:  how stressful school is with classes scheduled every other day, how much homework students are doing and how easy it is to find time to meet with teachers.

Audesirk said these meetings are a monthly occurrence, and in this specific meeting, she tried to help teachers find new ways for students to conduct their work.

“They wanted to know if there’s ways to help with that perception of the homework feeling never-ending,” Audesirk said. “I tried to give some suggestions of, you know, maybe do your homework on paper instead of on computers so that you can get away from your screen, maybe try to assign more podcasts or audiobooks or things like that, to let people give their eyes a rest from reading on the screen.”

Over two-thirds of survey respondents said the new schedule has made their workload less stressful.

In the survey, over two-thirds of the students who responded said they found the new schedule, with classes that meet every other day, less stressful. From what she saw when giving the presentation, teachers were generally encouraged by the statistics she pulled from the survey, Audesirk said.

“I think that they were happy about how the less stressful new schedule seems to be working,” Audesirk said. “They were glad to see that the amount of homework has slightly decreased, even though students are actually taking slightly more classes on average in the new schedule than they were in the old schedule.”

Student Representative of the Schedule Committee Andrew Reiter ’22 said he also feels that the new schedule has been successful in reducing his stress.

“I really like the new schedule because it allows me to do homework for only half of my classes each night,” Reiter said. “I feel like I focus more and get more quality work done.”