Pros to 85-Minute Classes at BHS

Philip Randazzo, Staff Writer

After a rough start to the academic school year, Barnstable High School has (finally) finalized its schedule; however, there are plenty of people who still aren’t satisfied—especially regarding the 85-minute classes. I, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier.

The 85-minute classes have given me a huge advantage in our hybrid learning curriculum. Since it’s my senior year and I’m applying Early Decision to Boston University, I haven’t had a lot of extra time on my hands. 

Because of the extended class time the last few weeks, I have noticed that many teachers obviously don’t want to lecture us for 85-minutes straight and claw their eyes out in the process—not even Marie Antoinette wanted to plead for mercy for that long. Almost all of my teachers have gone on a spiel for about 10 minutes, sent us to do asynchronous work, and then we’d regroup and discuss it afterwards. 

Depending on the day’s agenda and the type of teacher (the procrastinating one, the lazy one, the strict one, etc) this doesn’t fill a full 85 minutes. 

With the extra class time remaining, I am able to dedicate my energy into catching up on missing homework assignments and excessive college work, or collecting interviews for Insight. This especially applies to when I am doing remote learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, because I am able to access binders and textbooks tucked away under a pile of dirty laundry. 

On the school days I spend at home, I use the four 10-minute passing times to my advantage, catching up on homework in between Zooms. This totals up to 40-minutes of free time per day outside of the 85-minute class block, and that’s not even counting the mask breaks throughout the day where everyone runs outside and you’re left in an empty Zoom call. For a senior who’s already stressed out, this is an absolute dream come true. I feel like I’m living an indie Cinderella story. 

The only downside of these longer classes is the lack of social interaction, but in a COVID-19 universe, what else can someone expect? Some students complain that even if you have all that 85-minute time, there’s still no room to talk with your peers because of the six-feet apart rule. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a voice that travels through valleys and beyond the Pacific Ocean. 

So yes, when it comes to the social aspect of school, it stinks but we are going to have to get over it. When it comes to the academic aspect, however, I have never felt more productive.

**See Abby Creedon’s story for what she believes to be the cons of 85-minute classes.