Half days prove to be beneficial for students, teachers


Screenshot by Hannah Rah

Half days were incorporated into the MCPS November schedule on the week of Thanksgiving break.

Half days are used to give students time off, but some question if it is feasible to implement half days into the school week. Half days could be used to give students extra time to do work or as a much-needed stress-free time after a long and stressful week of school.

Board members, parents, teachers and students argue over whether or not half days would work as a part of the school week because of lack of time. Half days are argued frequently as a waste of the school day that could be a chance to learn. According to a Bethesda Magazine’s article from Dec. 3 about the increase in half days in the school schedule, board members were concerned that there was not enough time in the classroom after having online classes for over a year. They argued that class periods are short and weekly half days would take more time out of the school week and give less time for instruction.

Half days give students the opportunity to catch up on grades. After coming back from a virtual school year, students are being bombarded with work. With a lack of time to adjust, students are expected to turn in work faster than they are used to, leading their grades to suffer.  According to a study that was conducted by Columbia students, half days allow for quality learning time in classes and benefit testing and academics. 

With just one half day a week, students are given more time to do homework and participate in extracurricular activities, allowing them to feel more awake in school. Students get increasingly tired as the school day progresses, and this brings less of an opportunity to do well in school. With an early start time, students are already tired, but after a seven-hour day – not including extracurriculars – students could feel burnt out. With weekly half days, you can spend more time with friends, rather than with your head in a book.

Stress is something that is on students’ minds all the time. Whether it’s how much homework they have to do or how they are going to have enough time for an after-school activity, students are stressed for the majority of the day. With one added half day, students have felt less burnt out, their mental health has gotten increasingly better and students are relaxed and calm. According to a 2015 study by Georgia State University’s Dean of Policy Studies Mary Beth Walker, half days relieve stress and make it easier to function throughout the week. With less time to worry about school and grades, it allows students to function better, resulting in a better outcome in the future.

Half days can even help staff members and give more time for grading and outside activities. Half days can help students and staff alike and will benefit all in the long run.