Off blocks provide adjusted school hours for upper classmen

Armando Lopez, Staff Writer

As Greeley West students entered their second quarter of the school year, students were given a whole new schedule that may have provided a new order of classes.  This begs the question:  is it better to get out of school early or get in school late?

Because juniors and seniors are able to have one off-block per semester, they find themselves either having first hour off or last hour.  Two students, senior Omnaya Maldonado and senior Yulissa Morales, are in that very situation.  

Morales has elected to have a last period free hour.  “I love getting out early, but I have Aims (classes) after.  It’s great to get done early,” Morales said. 

Morales’ Aims classes for her to get out late, even though she would rather avoid an early arrival to school.  “I hate waking up early, but I don’t want to stay after lunch.” Morales said. 

 Maldonado has a first hour class off this quarter, after having a last hour off to start the year.  “I honestly prefer getting out early because then I feel like I have more time to do homework and have a good portion of the day to myself,” Maldonado said.  “Going to school later is nice, but I like getting all of my classes out of the way better,” said Omnaya. 

Getting an extra hour of sleep sounds like a blessing for all who have not experienced it, but like Maldonado, many students choose to open up their afternoons for jobs, college classes, or for opportunities to help their families.   

Choosing your off block also comes with its own challenges.  Students who leave early certainly avoid the traffic around school at the end of the day.  However, is that worse than losing sleep in the morning hours?  This is a decision students need to make for themselves.   

Counselors helped students adjust their schedules in early October to account for those considerations. “I think this is one of the positive impacts that COVID has had on our schedule, as I think it is more beneficial to have students on campus for a chunk of time, rather than coming and leaving, and coming back,” counselor Ms. Kelly Stephens said. “If students needed to adjust their off blocks for quarter 2, I met with them prior to quarter 1 ending, and adjusted schedules as I was able to, within cohorting and scheduling constraints.”