Students’ Opinions on the Ten-Minute Passing Periods

a student waiting for class

Student Portia White checks the time before her next class / Photographer: Portia White

With the start of the second quarter in November, a new online schedule was released. One of the main changes consisted of a ten-minute passing period replacing the previous five-minute one. As with most modifications, it came with some controversy.

Some students feel as though the extra five minutes are a waste of time. When asked how he spends his time between classes, student Thian Armenia said, “I sit and hit the refresh button on the Google Meet until my teacher gets there.” He also said, “I understand it might help others, but for me, it wastes my time.” Student Sofia Fleming agreed with Armenia. “Some teachers go five minutes into break anyway,” said Fleming. This issue was brought up by other students as well. With teachers teaching into the passing periods, students are not able to use all of the allotted time that is provided to take breaks throughout the day, despite the added few minutes.

While there are students who feel as though the extra five minutes are just a waste of their time, there is an overwhelming amount who feel the complete opposite. When asked if they find the ten minute passing period useful, 93 percent of students surveyed responded “yes.” One of these students was Bethany Carter. “It’s nice to not be rushing from one class to another, even if it’s just opening another tab,” said Carter when asked what her feelings were about the time change between classes. Realistically, it should only take a few minutes to close out one Google Meet and open another, however, this increase in time brought a lot of relief to students. Many students agreed with Carter, responding that it gave them extra time to get tasks done in between classes, including homework, going to the bathroom, getting a snack, and/or getting water, without having to rush.

As we continue to navigate through an online system, modifications are going to continually be made, and we have to be able to adjust to whatever is thrown in our direction. This schedule change is just one in many that will probably be seen in months to come. One student made a request for the next schedule change to be made. “Make it fifteen minutes and you’ve got a deal,” said Christopher Meadows.

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