As this academic year comes to an end, so does the STAC schedule. Concord Academy students have become very familiar with it over the past nine months, but they have never experienced it during the end of an academic year. With just a few weeks left before summer break and finals on the horizon, CA will continue to operate with the STAC schedule up until graduation, as opposed to the revised schedule that will make its debut in the fall. Ending the year with this schedule is something new to both students and teachers alike, and will certainly present its challenges as the semester draws to a close.
One of the benefits of the STAC schedule is that it allows a lot of in-class time for each course. With classes meeting seventy minutes a day for three days of the week and one day of forty-five minute classes, teachers have all the time they need to get through their course materials without rushing or condensing the content. For most cases, this has been an absolutely positive change.
However, the final few weeks of a school year are not like those preceding them. Courses are coming to a close, and finals are fast approaching. End-of-year events and commitments start popping up on everyone’s calendars. All of a sudden, everyone is busier than they were before. Therefore, having three or four seventy minute long classes limits the amount of free time students and staff have during a typical day. For most of the year, this has not been too much of a problem. Yet, with all the extra assignments and commitments that the end of the year brings, it will be very important for students and faculty to use their time efficiently and wisely.
Another change that the STAC schedule brought was virtual finals. Instead of taking final exams in classrooms, as we did in the past, all finals days require students to be completely virtual, and take their tests or complete their projects from home. End-of-year finals can be quite stressful for some students, and one way they alleviate that stress is by studying and spending time with their friends. However, with everyone at home during finals days, group studies will be difficult. Of course, technology does allow students to interact and study virtually, but it is not the same as actually being in the same room with your friends. While virtual accompaniment is not bad, being physically surrounded by friends while studying for finals certainly would help alleviate stress better.
This is in no way a knock on the STAC schedule. In general, it has been a great success. It has helped guide CA through a year which nobody could predict, and nobody wanted. It has given structure to a year that has had very little structure. Nevertheless, it certainly does pose a few challenges to students and teachers alike during the final few weeks. With that said, summer break is right around the corner, and before we know it, the new academic year will be upon us. Hopefully, we will be able to experience normal once again!