All year long: JDS should keep a short Friday schedule consistenly

Tal Arber, Reporter

In mid-March, the clock moves forward an hour and the short
Friday schedule shifts back to a regular schedule. Many students, including myself, who participate in outside of school sports on Friday afternoons during the winter no longer have the option to continue participating once the schedule changes back. This, among many other reasons, is why I believe that CESJDS should make every Friday of the school year a short Friday.

Throughout the school week, students are overloaded with work, generating stress and causing problems with their after-school schedules. Having a short Friday every week would benefit students so that they can get home early to relax from a week of rigorous coursework.

When talking about what could be the potential benefits of having short Friday’s year long, Head of School Rabbi Mitchel Malkus said, “I think that the positive of doing it is that there would be consistency in the school week, so we don’t have to have two separate schedules for short Friday and long Fridays.”

Consistency would be a big benefit of having a short Friday schedule year round, something highly appreciated by students. If we had a short Friday schedule every week for the entire year, students would feel more comfortable with their consistent routine, ultimately making school less

Although students may benefit from a shorter end of the week, many teachers and faculty members believe having a longer school day is a better option for students.

“From an educational perspective, especially in the upper grades, having a full school day is more beneficial, especially in the high school,” Malkus said.

Even if we had short Fridays all year, we could still meet the Maryland State Department of Education minimum number of educational hours, though technically as a private school we don’t need to. Still, this shows that we can be academically vigorous, but also relax a bit.

Early Fridays are the one day when students can participate in activities organized outside of JDS that often begin before 4 p.m., something that is impossible the rest of the week. I like to go to basketball practice to cool off from school on Fridays, but once school ends later, I am no longer able to make it to practices.

Our school needs to make a consistent short-Friday schedule for the entire year so that it does not interfere with extracurricular activities. Part of preparing for Shabbat is taking a break from the rest of the week, and we need early Fridays year-round to get into the right Shabbat mindset. I believe the school should think over having a short-Friday schedule year-round in the upcoming school year with all of this in mind.

This story was featured in the Volume 36, Issue 6 print edition of The Lion’s Tale, published on May 23, 2019.