Middle School Students Shift to a New Learning Schedule

Dearborn Public Schools has changed the new online learning schooling for middle schoolers. Instead of having A/B days, middle school students now have a schedule that is similar to the old in-person instruction schedules. Middle school students have Zoom calls for each class, daily, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. with breaks in between. 

Woodworth Middle School Principal, Rima Hassan, said that the new schedule has lead to positive results. 

Students are able to go to class each day and work on deepening their learning. With this new schedule, students have the opportunity to retain more information as there is a reminder of the lesson from the day before. Students are not waiting a day or sometimes two days until their next lesson,” Hassan said. 

Hassan also said the new schedule is even better for students since there is less time for asynchronous work.

“That (less asynchronous work) takes the stress off of students as well. They no longer have to remember what is due and when. If anything,this new schedule looks more like our schedule prior to the pandemic,” Hassan said. 

Some teachers have acknowledged that this new schedule for the middle schools has led to noticeable improvements in terms of student engagement and participation. Teacher Erin Mcingvale, teacher at Woodworth Middle School, said that she has witnessed various improvements in class by adjusting to this new schedule.

By switching to the new schedule we have increased student participation in class, increased completion of work, and are able to cover more content because we are seeing every student live every day, versus seeing them live only every other day. Students are able to complete independent work much more successfully now because they are completing work that they already started in their live session that day, and have received a lesson on, versus trying to complete something during an async time that they learned about a day previous,” Mcingvale said.

Noral Huda, Woodworth Middle School teacher, said the new online learning schedule has more positive benefits than negative. I think, for the most part, it has benefited students. They are seeing all their teachers everyday and if they have questions or need help they can ask right away. Also, with no asynchronous assignments, and all assignments being done in the class during synchronous time, it takes away a lot of the stress of getting work done,” Huda said. 

While some teachers and principals have determined that the new schedule is beneficial, some students have expressed that they are not feeling the same way.

Mohamad Hammoud, a sixth grader at Unis Middle School, said he preferred the old schedule. I personally like the three hours a day because I’m more focused and have more energy other than the Zoom calls being all day,” Hammoud said. 

Hammoud said that the new schedule is not benefitting him like it should.  I’m not really gaining anything from being on Zoom all day other than becoming bored very fast. Before, with A/B days, I was more focused and felt that it was less stressful. Now, I just feel overwhelmed with the amount of work,” Hammoud said. 

Malak Saad, an eighth grader at Unis Middle School, said she appreciated the recent change to the schedule. “Now that the school days are longer, I feel it’s beneficial for everyone. It’ll give us a lot more time learning and make sure students are actually doing their work in class and not in asynchronous time where they won’t,” Saad said. 

Saad said the change has improved the online learning experience. “I found it more stressful when they had given us the rest of the day doing asynchronous work because we had in class work and homework separately. Now we get everything done at once and I find it a lot easier,” Saad said.