Should we bring back C Day?

Undeniably, we have had a very eventful two years. The high school students of this country have experienced more than many do in a lifetime, in barely a fraction of that period. However, not everything that came out of our quarantine year was a negative. For many students, the “C day” was a saving grace for mental health and scheduling.

Introduced in the NTI phase of 2020, students were given the C day every Wednesday. No mandatory Zoom calls were given, and it was a day with little expectations; students were told to catch up on or complete assignments given by teachers and join office hour calls if they needed extra help. From then on, they were free to use the rest of the day however they pleased. Thanks to this change, the students of Lafayette High School were able to take a much-needed break from their daily routine and relax.

Upon the return of in-person education, the C day was removed with little hesitation, and with no transition period. Students had become accustomed to the C day schedule and loved the mid-week breaks. As if the last year had never happened, school was back to normal; but was it really?

Many students came back to a much-different Lafayette than the one they knew in past years. We were given a one-way hall system, mask requirements, and a longer time to get to class as compensation for the new hallway rules. Social distancing was enforced throughout the building as much as possible through the use of spaced out seats in the classroom. For most experienced students, this was not especially challenging. On the other hand, some students have only ever known the C day schedule at Lafayette. Freshmen were given little to no briefing on how to be successful in this new environment, which was much faster-paced and more aggressive on students. On the academic side, many students saw a large decrease in their grades. Motivation was low, and missing assignments were at an all time high.

This raises the question: should students have a C day? Although it brings many benefits to the students, it is not ideal for many teachers. Having one less day every two weeks for their class is extremely difficult to plan around, especially in higher level classes with more content. With that being said, in the long term, C days would most likely hurt students. There is no perfect system, but a compromise is possible. A C day every two to three weeks would help many students reset, and perhaps would allow teachers to plan with less stress. This would essentially be a study hall tailored for each class, and would be an instructed catch-up day, something that could be useful to all students.

Regardless of whether a student has missing assignments or is fully caught up, this extra time would be effective for both increasing grades school wide as a study day. It would also help to keep students engaged in class, as many get bored with the same type of learning each day. A change in learning style would be beneficial to a large majority of students. The C day should absolutely be considered as an option to help give students the best shot at academic success.