A break from Saturday classes

Wendy Cui

Earlier this January, the school decided to plan for some Saturdays without classes for the rest of winter term. Kent’s academic dean Dr. MacNeil believes that the adjustment will ease the burden of this long, bitter winter for all members of the Kent community. “It’s the winter season,” Dr. MacNeil points out, “and we’re still dealing with COVID. ” 

The school took multiple factors into account when making the decision, but the most prominent reasons for the change were physical and mental health. The alternate Saturday schedule is not primarily for academic purposes; rather, it is about helping the Kent community achieve a healthy equilibrium between work and rest. “It is about something even more important than academics—wellness and balance,” Dr. MacNeil emphasizes. The schedule change will benefit student athletes as well: with more time to sleep and less stress about schoolwork, Kent’s athletic teams can perform better on the courts, the rink, the pool, and so on. 

However, the benefits come not without a trade-off. Not having Saturday classes every week means that teachers are losing class time. With an already tight schedule accommodating the many uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic, teachers have to readjust their course plans. “There is a cost to that,” Dr. MacNeil acknowledges. “But we believe the overall benefits outweigh the cost for both the students and the teachers. We can make up for the lost time if people are happy and healthy.” Alternate Saturday classes will alleviate the strain of the pandemic and the inclement winter weather, creating a healthier atmosphere where the well-being of all community members are the first priority.