After Spring Break, the Monroe County School Board decided to allow students to come back full time, fearing that Florida’s governor would cut off their school budget. As well as the teachers, students have been heavily affected by the joining of A and B days in both positive and negative ways.
Daniella Barroso, the Key West High School (KWHS) Class President of 2024, expressed her new sleep pattern due to the full-time schedule. “I used to sleep a lot better when it was every other day,” said Barroso. “Now that I go both days, I have to stay up later to do all my homework and wake up early every day.” However, the KWHS Student Council President, Nicolas Gonzalez, saw this as a revelation for his rest. “When I was on the A/B schedule, I wanted to sleep in on my virtual day, which messed up my sleep schedule. Now that I’m going full time, it is a lot easier for me to get up in the morning, as long as I go to sleep at a consistent time,” stated Gonzalez.
Although getting back into the “normal routine” has its perks, some areas of the routine are unmissable. Liam Flores, the KWHS Class President of 2023, described the impact from his viewpoint. “This is from a guy taking no AP classes, so for the AP, DE, or anything higher than Algebra II, you have my respect, ” said Flores. “The workload feels a bit more, but being at school has kept me working at all times, and with no room to slack off and be on my phone for hours.” With the regular A/B schedule, teachers would only do about two lessons a week since they had to repeat the lesson to the two groups of students. Now with going full time, teachers are required to teach five lessons per week, just like before.
When students were on their virtual days, or known as “off-days” on the A/B schedule, students have felt that they were not being as productive as they were when they were in school. “I have a math class first period that is every day over Google Meet, so I would try to get up and pay attention but I would be really tired or just fall back asleep,” stated Gonzalez.
Regarding students’ social life, many have felt that by going back to school every day has increased their interaction with more of their peers. “For example, Mrs. Gray’s 4th Period Psychology class. Sure it was definitely a fun class, but with both (or at least most) A and B students there, it’s that much more interesting,” said Flores. “The easiest way to describe it would be ‘seeing both sides of a playing card at once.’ ” Although, the amount of work being increased has taken away from students’ personal time on the weekends.
Because of COVID-19, a lot of traditions have been removed, such as the Grad Bash for seniors, an event at Universal Orlando to celebrate graduation. However, KWHS has been able to adapt these traditions to a “corona friendly” innovation. For instance, the formation of the new KWHS Morning Announcements, has brought news to the school virtually instead of each individual delivering the news over the intercom. To check out the morning announcements, click here.
With all the new changes this year, switching to full time after spring break was a risky decision, while knowing that the COVID-19 cases would rise. “I thought it was unnecessary for the state to force the school district to offer full time at such a short notice, but now that most teachers and school staff have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, I think that it is the appropriate time to offer full time schooling,” stated Gonzalez.
Between A/B and full time schedules, we are still learning and adapting to possible situations, being ready for the unknown. As the end of the year is coming to a close, teachers and staff are thinking of ways to come out of the 2020-2021 school year with a bang, even if it is six feet apart. Likewise, Flores has the same positive mindset. “I have faith in Mrs. McPherson and the rest of the staff will improve our situation. But in the meantime, we all have to do our duty and stay as safe as possible, and wear our masks!”