Welcome Back to 5-Day Weeks

Students+in+Ms.+Dyers+class+work+on+a+Tuesday.

Sarah Dyer

Students in Ms. Dyer’s class work on a Tuesday.

Yasemin Saidoglu, Staff Writer

Last year was weird in countless ways. We had the shutdown, the coronavirus, the virtual learning–we even had the AABB schedule at the beginning of the year. Though most of those are not memories worthy of reminiscing on, what about our Mondays last year? Asynchronous Mondays were the saving grace for many, and returning to a school year without them might take some adjustments.

 

Easing back into the school year has been rather difficult for everyone, but as we approach the ending of our first full quarter, everyone’s a little burnt out. With work piling up again, many are missing that asynchronous day. “It’s really difficult going to school in person for 7 hours every day,” said sophomore Sam Lombard. “I’m always exhausted by the end of the day, and I don’t have time to rest because of all the homework I’m assigned.”

 

The asynchronous day benefited both students and teachers, giving them a day to collect themselves and prepare for the week ahead. Mr. Zyck, a Spanish teacher, said, “That was my grading day. I met with students one on one, did stuff for PEER, but mostly creating and planning.” Students not only used it for homework but for extracurricular activities as well. “I used it for specialization stuff, like clubs and stuff. I’d use it to write debate speeches and look over my script for theater,” said sophomore Maryam Imran. 

 

Despite how useful everyone found it, the asynchronous day was removed from our schedule because Governor Ralph Northam required that schools return with an in-person learning option, five days a week. Some people have hope that we might get that asynchronous day back. “Maybe in the future, after we get from a normal year, they can look at something like that and see how it works in,” said Mr. Zyck. 

 

The question of adding back our asynchronous Monday is not just a plea for an extra day off. There are studies that show that 4-day weeks are actually beneficial for everyone who works. In a report about a study conducted in Iceland, BBC News said, “Workers reported feeling less stressed and at [lower] risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved.” The study was done with around 2,500 workers, and the productivity in the workplace either stayed the same or improved. 4-day weeks aren’t just for students and teachers, they’re for everyone.  

 

If the asynchronous day was brought back, the school board would have more to consider. How would it be done in person? What about families with younger children to take care of? An asynchronous day affects more than just the students’ time to catch up on work. Mr. Zyck said, “Maybe they could provide transportation for those students that want to go into the building to work on those days. That could be something to solve that issue, and for elementary [school students], maybe they’d be in school.”

 

Many are hopeful for the return of an asynchronous day. It would relieve stress and make school life a little easier for people involved. Even if it doesn’t work out in the beginning, maybe with some adjustments, we can find a way. Isn’t it worth it?