McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Opinion | Early release Wednesdays prevent students from getting work done

Early release days are good in theory, but now every Wednesday lacks AIM, a period designed for the success of students
Leylah Moreno
At the Upper Campus, when the clock hits 1:46 on Wednesdays, students get to leave early. However, the schedule has drawbacks.

For some students early release Wednesdays are the best part of the week, but for others, it is the dreaded day with no AIM and less time to get the much needed help from teachers. With no AIM, there is less time in a student’s busy schedule to get homework done. While early release days give students a much needed break, they obstruct a students’ ability to get their work completed. 

Previously, early release days were only on the occasional Wednesday. Its purpose was for different divisions to get together and discuss ways to improve the curriculum. This year, the occasional early release day becomes every Wednesday. This shift was made to have a more consistent time for teachers to get together. But, now every Wednesday lacks an AIM period for students, a period created to give students time to see teachers and get work done if they can not after school.

The main purpose of AIM, an “academic resource for all” model, is to aid students in their academic success, without it one day each week there is less time for that success. Students never know when they will have questions or when they will need help, but AIM is a guaranteed time for students to find teachers for last minute questions or even to just get work done. AIM could be compared to a study hall, but the difference is that everyone in the school has it at the same time during the day. On Wednesdays, the lack of a common work period for teachers and students can cause problems if someone needs in-person help or if a last minute question comes up. 

AIM is also mainly for the students who do not have time before or after school to meet with teachers. Many students have after school commitments, like jobs or sports, preventing them from being able to stay late to get help from teachers. That is why a designated time for students to get work done is a good thing. On Wednesdays, that designated time disappears, and the problem of not having time after school to get work done or ask questions pops up again. Especially if a student with commitments does not have a study hall, that aim period is extremely important. The less in school help they get, the more things they will need to do on top of their commitments outside of school. 

Students collectively struggle with time management, a majority would say they have a procrastination problem. While having no AIM in the middle of the week might encourage students to use their time better, it might also just be another excuse to why the work did not get done. The middle of the week tends to be the most chaotic for students, it is when the most things are going on. Taking away that extra work time in the middle of a busy week could push students to lose motivation to do the work in the first place, especially if Wednesdays now feel more laid-back to students. 

For some, an early release day every week is something to look forward to. It could be the motivation that students need to get work done before having a day with no AIM. But the day can also feel relaxed because students get to leave early. While classes are just three minutes shorter, the anticipation of getting off of school at 1:46 p.m. instead of 2:50 p.m. is enough to make it hard for students to get work done. For those students who do not have a study hall, miss a day of school or if they simply have a lot of things to do. AIM is a great time to get work done. Without it, it gives students less time to get work done in school or to seek help from teachers.

While early release days are great for students by giving them a much needed break, and they are great for teachers because it gives them a set time to improve the curriculum. They are not perfect because students have less time for asking questions and doing homework. Maybe if the early release day was moved from Wednesday to another day of the week it would work better for everyone, or if we found a way to keep some sort of aim period everyday students would feel more motivated. Maybe students will still sometimes struggle with the workload no matter how much built in work time they have. But, no matter what, it seems to always be the day that there is no AIM, that AIM is needed the most.

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