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New School Year – New Schedule

New School Year - New Schedule

One month has passed since the beginning of the 2023 – 2024 academic year. In such time, students have noticed quite a few changes around GAA. One of the seemingly most prominent, being the altered schedule. 

To give a brief overview, from 2020 to 2022, GAA’s schedule included four, ninety-minute classes each day – excluding Friday which contained four, sixty-minute classes. The eight total classes taken by students were separated into two sets: Blue Day and White Day. The two sets alternated each day. Looking at a typical white day, for example, one would have blocks A (at 7:45 am), B (at 9:20 am), C (at 10:45 am), and D (at 1:35 pm). The times at which these blocks took place would not alter throughout the year. Additionally, the breaks between blocks A, B, and C, were 10 minutes long, where lunch was a length of 40 minutes. 

Contrastingly, this year students have alternating timings for each block with varying lengths of breaks in between. For example, on the first blue day of the week, one may have block E from (7:45 am – 9:10 am), followed by block F (9:15 am – 10:40 am), then block G (11:00 am – 12:25 pm) and finally block H (1:35 pm – 3:00 pm). Whereas on the second blue day of the week, their block schedule would look more like F, G, H, E. What this means is that whichever block was one’s second, – on a blue/white day – becomes their first on the next blue/white day, and this cycle continues. Looking more deeply at the breaks:

Block A (7:45 am – 9:10 am)

5 minute break

Block B (9:15 am – 10:40 am)

20 minute break

Block C (11:00 am – 12:25 pm)

5 minute break

Advisory (12:30 pm – 12:55 pm)

40 minute lunch break

Block D (1:35 pm – 3:00 pm)

Evidently, the change has not been a simple one. Though, this begs a question: how do the students feel about the new schedule?

Among the new additions to high school, a ninth grader shares “I really like this year’s schedule, in comparison to last year’s. This is because it gives us a necessary long break (of 20 minutes) and therefore, more time to socialize. The only thing I preferred about last year’s schedule is the 10 minute break between A and B block because I’ve noticed a lot of students struggling to make it to class on time in the 5 minutes we are now given.”

One eleventh grader states “honestly, I think [the change] was a big adjustment as it’s now difficult to memorize which class you have next (which was an easy thing to do in the past). Though, overall I think it’s a good change as the classes that took place during times at which most students were tired (ie. A block at 7:45 am) now get an opportunity to be focused on more deeply. Therefore, all my classes give me the chance to fully concentrate without having time as an excuse to do otherwise. Because of this, I prefer this year’s schedule.”

It may be too early to tell how and if students are truly impacted by this change in the schedule. Though overall, it appears many, while still possessing minor concerns, are partial to this year’s school day arrangement.

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About the Contributor
Dalal Al Mukhtar, Editor in Chief
Hey everyone! My name is Dalal, I’m fifteen years old and a sophomore. My family and I are originally from Iraq but I’ve lived here in Abu Dhabi since I was born! Some of my hobbies include non-fictional writing and show jumping :))  

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    Noah AlnomanOct 4, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you, this benefited me a lot.