“Take 5” Do the Five Extra School Minutes Really Make a Difference?

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What can you do in five minutes? Drink a glass of water, eat a sandwich, or maybe watch an internet clip of a cat playing a keyboard . . . not much. But what can you do in fourteen hours? Well in fourteen hours, you can watch every single Star Wars movie, drive all the way to Georgia, or get almost two full nights of sleep. The schedule change of starting school at 8:00 A.M. instead of 8:05 A.M. may have only added five minutes to the school day, but it added fourteen hours to the school year total: that’s not just one five-minute cat video, that’s nearly two hundred.

With all of the confusion about why five minutes have been added to the beginning of the school day, WordsWorth took five (pun very much intended) with Head of Scheduling Michael Omilian to try to understand why the choice was made.
“The schedule we had previously has been the same . . . for ten years,” explained Mr. Omilian. He went on to explain that fields such as arts, technology, and religion were not properly accommodated by the old schedule.

“The first goal,” said Omilian, “was to change the schedule to make more time for those classes [without taking away from the main subjects].” In order to do this, the schedule had to be reconfigured entirely; and while most of the needed time was already there, it was necessary to add five more minutes to the day.

But why was the five minutes not added to the end of the day so it does not affect our morning routines? Omilian explained that the day simply could not end any later than 3:10, as it would have negatively impacted MFS sports’ schedules: “I couldn’t make the day end any later, because of upper school sports practices and games. We are already probably the latest closing high school in New Jersey.”

So while we all might have to wake up a bit earlier each day, we can all still thank our lucky stars that the final bell still rings when it always has, every day at 3:10, like clockwork.

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