OK, I admit it. I’m an oversimplifier. I don’t get the school opening/not opening mess we’re currently engaged in. I remember sometime in the late-’40s or early-’50s, probably as a consequence of the post-war baby boom, there were more kids than schoolrooms. So cities and towns split the school day into two sessions. As I remember, 7 to 11 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. give or take some few minutes on either end.
On some unremembered basis, each child was assigned to a session for the school year and teachers were assigned to one session or the other for the school year. For the kids, that provided consistency of teaching, an absence of chaos and a sense of normalcy. A four-hour day was sufficient to get a lot done. Yes, the kids need breaks, but the number of which were not mandated by the School Board but left to the teachers who know when their kids need a break and when they need a break. To be honest, I don’t know or remember whether the same system was applied to Middle School and High School. But it worked beautifully for K-6.
That plan today would free up classroom space to distance desks from one another appropriately and give parents an opportunity to arrange their work schedules. After a few weeks of adjustment, things would settle into routine. It worked with the baby boomers, it would work today with just a tweak here and a tweak there.
Enid K. Reiman