We need asynchronous days now more than ever… where are they?

Virtual learning felt like “living life while going to school, not that school was life.”…Revitalizing this lost aspect of student life would be a great addition to our weekly schedule.


Nathaniel Seaman

Asynchronous days gave students time to work at their own pace. With them gone, students are often pressed for time.

Roxie Jenkin

For Senior Dea Stefanovich, virtual learning felt like “living life while going to school, not that school was life.” Every student remembers the tranquility of waking up on Wednesday mornings during online school. The sounds of birds outside, rather than the jarring iPhone ringtone for 7:00, would serve as an alarm clock. For that year of our lives, every Wednesday was a designated day to meet with teachers or catch up on some homework. Revitalizing this lost aspect of student life would be a great addition to our weekly schedule.
With the rapid adjustment to a five-day, in-person schedule, last school year was like being pushed into icy water. It was hard to adjust, not just because we had to become reacquainted with this schedule, but because it was the first normal school year we had in two years. Students need to work at their own pace to understand the material. They can find it easy to get left behind without the breathing room an asynchronous day provides. With an asynchronous Wednesday, students would be able to study subjects further than what is covered in the 45 minutes we have in person. Mr. Lopilato affirms that asynchronous days would “allow kids to process things that were talked about while in class.”
Given the tremendous shock of moving school online and the other large demands of pandemic life, an asynchronous day made sense. The stress when school comes back in session is monumental, making it more important for officials to incorporate asynchronous learning. According to a Pew Research Center study, 61% of students say that they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades. This pressure could lead to more time spent on schoolwork and, with few hours after school, little time to do anything else.
Having an asynchronous day on Wednesdays would give students a little extra time to sleep and focus on the week’s work. The Sleep Foundation found that teens need between eight to ten hours of sleep every night to succeed both academically and emotionally. According to the CDC, 7 in 10 high schoolers don’t get enough sleep. Senior Savannah Freeman feels that “everybody needs a break in the week, teachers and students, for organizational skills. Going to school for six hours a day, five days a week is crazy. It’s hard.”
Teachers are also suffering from this mountain of work. Teachers that typically have five classes with 30 students in each: approximately 150 assignments or more to read over and grade, assuming that they have assigned only one thing that week. It can become overwhelming fast. Lopilato attests to that workload and finds that his workload is “insane,” and that he has to “constantly put aside things [he] wants to do to” get that work done.
Being in a complete virtual school is not sustainable nor desirable, but having Wednesdays as asynchronous days would give students some time out of school to catch up on work and their mental health. Bringing back asynchronous Wednesdays would bring back the break we need now more than ever.