WJ community debates functionality of half days


Photo by Mia Magone

On early release days, buses depart at 12:07 PM. such as the half day on April 1st, 2022, for the end of quarter 3.

When hitting the required 180 school days per year, it’s common for students to look forward to the occasional half day. Students have differing opinions on the mechanics and practicality of half days and professional days.

Half days allow students more time to work on assignments at home at their own pace. Students like freshman Alexis Batac enjoy the break they provide.

“I get things done, especially when teachers provide study halls, which I like because I don’t have to do homework for the rest of the night. We just continue whatever we worked the day before,” Batac said.

However, others believe that half days do not provide sufficient time to give students the break that they need. Classes are shortened by approximately 20 minutes in order to dismiss students at 12:07 pm.

I think it’s very rushed, trying to stuff seven classes in one day. When there’s a half-day, it’s not usually a Wildcat Wednesday, so they still try to teach despite such a tight schedule, so the information isn’t being processed. The amount of class time given to us on half days is not enough for what’s assigned.

— Dean Chenine

The schedule on half days, with lunch at the end of the day, can be conflicting for students who are used to the regular schedule.

“For people like me who can’t function without a routine, it’s really difficult, but I know people who like it because it makes them feel the school day goes faster,” Chenine said.

Some prefer Wildcat Wednesdays over half days. Though controversial, many students are willing to have this change.

“Wildcat Wednesdays are usually a break for students, so I think we should stay home and relax,” Batac said.

Not everyone would find half days more beneficial.

“I prefer wildcat Wednesdays because it is a time to relax and get caught up on school work and ask teachers questions. In fact, I think half days should be used like wildcat Wednesdays,” Chenine said.

Usually, half days are established for teachers to get caught up on work. Teachers need time to catch up just as much as students do.

“We used to have more professional days, but then there was this big disagreement with Governor Hogan and professional days started shifting to half days. I prefer full professional days, but it’s different for every teacher and their personal life. A teacher with children has more responsibilities to spend time on and may need more time for grading. It’s hard to hit the required school days and have enough professional days,” social studies teacher Mollie Carlin said.

Students also understand the value of extra time for grading and try to empathize.

“I think teachers should get the whole day off because on half days they are still expected to teach and it’s not the whole day off, teachers have 150 students, so to grade all that is hard,” Chenine said.