REVERT BACK TO ORIGINAL HYBRID BELL SCHEDULE
This petition is a plea from SEP students who feel as if the sudden change and decision to revert back to a full day of school is unfair, and a difficult adjustment for us to make. Firstly, we as students haven't been in a proper learning environment since the initial shutdown of schools due to the pandemic in March. Since then, we have had online classes for short periods of time, and following that, a fixed hybrid schedule that allowed students with a two hour break for transportation and leisure purposes. This hybrid schedule has proved to be successful for hybrid and online students alike, as well as teachers. Something else that would be important to note about our current schedule is that it allows all students to have some breathing room during this extremely hard time. This school year and year in general have significantly impacted many students' mental health, specifically the Seniors who are dealing with a multitude of stress and hardship regarding the college process. Having this break between the school day allowed for students to focus on their well being, and work on important tasks that would otherwise be pushed to the late afternoon. These tasks may include an abundance of homework, college research and applications, working out for their physical health, being able to eat a full meal without being rushed, and even getting a breath of fresh air outside. Another factor to consider would be what a full day would mean for online remote students. It's no question that sitting in front of a screen for approximately 8 hours a day would seriously affect the health of students. Studies show that elongated screen time without a decent break can cause eye exhaustion and muscle aches. Computers and chromebooks overheat when used for extended periods of time. This causes a significant amount of radiation to be released from the device, which is hazardous to one's health. Online students will struggle with the implementation of a full day, but so will students who decide to go into school. Since we are still in a pandemic, safety is of utmost importance to students and staff alike. Even though the 11229 area is now a yellow zone, the increased number of students in the building for a full day seems dangerous, and a potential means of breeding grounds for Covid-19 to spread. That is the last thing any of us would want, as we've all been dealing with the repercussions of this pandemic as students and faculty. Comfort is also something to consider when being in the school building for 8 hours a day. It is protocol to wear a mask, and is extremely important that we do so, however, it will definitely be uncomfortable for students to have their nose and mouth covered for such an extended period of time. Not to mention going up flights of stairs in a mask. With the hybrid model, students only had to wear their mask for about two and a half hours. This is significantly less time that students would be struggling to breathe during class, since the other half of their day would be spent at home online. All of these issues listed seriously contribute to the mental health and well being of the student body, especially the Seniors who have so much on their plate this year during these trying times. The voice of the student body matters, so I urge the administration of Saint Edmund Preparatory High School to please consider their students. We are a family and should be able to communicate as one. Thank you.