As students and staff know, asynchronous days, typically on Fridays, are the one day a week where the only Zooms are optional office hours and teachers assign work to have turned in by the end of the day for attendance.
“When we created asynchronous Fridays, it was done with the purpose of giving students the autonomy to manage their daily schedule while being able to continue with their learning at their own pace,” Principal Michael Kapolka said.
This has been the norm for CHS students until recently with the SAT and PSAT testing, async day has been changed to Wednesday to better fit the students so the testing group won’t miss any classes. However, some students were a little thrown off by this change.
“Honestly we’ve gotten messed around with quite a bit this year and making asynchronous on Wednesday really doesn’t help with everything,” Senior Benjamin Cousino said. “I sure wish it would go back to Friday. Having asynchronous on Friday was so nice. Being able to wrap up the school week with a low stress and and low workload day was awesome.”
Audra Guthre (23’) said “ I think that it is useful for Friday to be async because kids can catch up on work that they have missed. Normally there isn’t homework for the weekend, so it takes stress off.”
Another benefit of the asynchronous learning day is it gives students a chance to work on post-CHS skills such as time management and learning to take ownership over their work. However, it can be a challenge for students to do that if the workload is too much for the short period of time. Being entirely online makes it harder for teachers to gauge students’ understanding of the material they learn and just how long it will take them to do the work they assign.
“What we[teachers] think would reasonably take 20 minutes may take some students 40 minutes or 60 minutes,” English teacher Dawn Putnam said. “We need to be more flexible with our due dates to allow students the time they need to do great work without students feeling like they are in a timed test situation every Friday. People don’t necessarily do their best work when they are freaking out about beating the clock.”
Though there is a variety of opinion on asynchronous school days, navigating the different types of online learning is new for everyone. The more that everyone communicates, the better teachers and students alike can understand and adjust to meet each others needs. Kapolka said more clarification about what should be happening on asynchronous days is coming soon.
“As we are a little over 8 weeks into the term, the next step for our building will be to clarify expectations for students and staff via an asynchronous instructional day,” Kapolka said.