By: Emily Urda
On Wednesday, March 16th, outside the doors of the Stamford Government Center, a group of students and teachers, from both AITE and Westhill, marched against the Hybrid 4×4 schedule. Brightly colored signs with clever phrases like “No more 4×4”, flooded the street corner of Washington Boulevard. Police cars, fire trucks, school buses, and members of the Stamford community honked in support of the marchers. Even a few members of the community and former students joined in and held up signs. The Hybrid 4×4 schedule has brought outcries from the students and teachers of Westhill High School. For those that may not know, the Hybrid 4×4 schedule is a new plan created by Stamford’s Board of Education.
The new 4×4 follows a schedule in which each day a student would take four classes. Each class would be approximately 90 minutes. Students would take a certain four classes their first semester and a different four classes their second semester. This is in an effort to allow students to take 8 classes in order to gain more credit hours and increase the graduation rate. As you can imagine this schedule has brought up many questions, a few regarding AP classes, which require the taking of a summative test at the end of the year. Others wonder how teachers will teach for 90 minutes. A chemistry teacher at Westhill High School believes the 4×4 is “a disaster waiting to happen.” One may agree, as there have been different notions regarding the schedule floating around. No one knows what is going on and what they will decide to do for the upcoming school year. Many students have been bamboozled with how many classes they should pick for next year. How will teachers be able to create new teaching plans in less than 6 months for the new school year? Malcolm, a junior at Westhill High School, brought to light that a schedule was produced by Westhill staff prior to the pandemic. This plan was soon scrapped by the Board of Education, who eventually proposed the 4×4 schedule instead. Malcolm expressed that this new schedule: “treats students and teachers like machines.”
A survey was taken at Westhill High School which found that 98% of the 170 members of staff do not want this new schedule. Instead, students and teachers would prefer the A/B schedule, in which students would have a different set of four classes every other day. This gives students a chance to see their teachers throughout the entire school year and eliminates problems with classes that require a full spaced out year.
Dr. Rebecca Hamman, a member of the Board of Education thinks, “we can do better” in regards to fellow members of the Board of Education. Dr. Hamman thinks the board should take their time, despite feeling “they have to do something.” The Board of Education’s job is to “interpret the needs of the Stamford community with regard to SPS, and keep the community informed of the goals, values, conditions, and requirements of the SPS.” Instead of interpreting the needs of the SPS community perhaps it’s time they listen to what students and teachers have to say.