By Hanna Medwar
AHS Principal Conrad has confirmed that next year at the high school there will be an additional fifteen minutes to the school day.
According to Conrad, this change will shape Andover into becoming a better school overall. The current schedule has given Andover High almost 990 hours in school per year. The Department of Education requires 990 hours and 180 days in school for each year. With a longer school day, Andover High will have around 1000 hours annually.
Students, including sophomore Riley Lowe, believe that they will find it hard to adapt to this adjustment. “I do not think this change of adding fifteen minutes to the school day is beneficial to Andover High. I have to get home early anyways because of field hockey practice at the high school. If the fifteen minutes is added to the end of the day, this fifteen minutes makes it even harder for transportation, especially for after-school activities,” said Lowe.
She is not the only one who has concerns about a longer school day, as student-athletes are mostly worried on how this will affect their schedule.
However, Conrad is aware that there will be some concern regarding extracurricular activities that are after school. “This may have no effect at all if we add the fifteen minutes to the front end of the day,” said Conrad. On the flip side, he added, “If the fifteen minutes were added to the afternoon, it may affect it a little bit. It will put pressure on our athletic program as it will put pressure on the recreational sports program in town. This is because if we are on the fields later that puts the other kids later. This is harder, especially in the fall as it gets darker earlier.”
Despite this small consequence on Andover’s athletic program, the latest an MVC school gets out (Lawrence) is by 3 o’clock. Due to the high school getting out before 3 p,m,, the effect of this addition of fifteen minutes is fairly small.
In fact, some students are accepting this change. sophomore Heather Graham, who goes to Landmark High School but plays field hockey at Andover High, is welcoming this change with open arms. Graham gets out of school by 3:10 p.m. and it takes her forty-five minutes to get to Andover High from Landmark. She has an agreement with Landmark to leave early at 2:15 p.m. to get to field hockey. “Going from Landmark High to Andover High to get to field hockey practice is really hard for me, as transportation has been tough for me to say the least,”’ she said. Graham said if Andover adds fifteen minutes to the end of the school day, it will make things easier and gives more time for her to get to field hockey.
Conrad is seeking teacher input on how to incorporate this change in the schedule. There are a few ways the additional fifteen minutes could be added in the schedule, including adding three minutes to each class or adding five minutes to the seventy-five minute blocks and spreading out the remaining minutes to the other blocks. However, no solutions have been decided as none have been made permanent yet.
If the fifteen minutes were added to the beginning of the day, it would be harder for students to get to school on time. Some students already stress over being late and struggle with tardiness, and if school starts fifteen minutes earlier this will make it even more difficult for students in the morning. Also, starting earlier will result in students losing more sleep, as many students at AHS already do not get the recommended amount of sleep.