Six Reasons Asynchronous Wednesdays Should Stay

Keegan Brooks, Staff Writer

Asynchronous Wednesdays may be one of the few positive changes to school resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online classes are often labeled synchronous or asynchronous, the former requiring the teacher and class all meet at a scheduled time, together. Asynchronous Wednesdays at Chamblee have meant that students do not have formal, scheduled class meetings on Wednesdays. However, it is assumed that students are either completing work on their own, meeting with teachers, or meeting with classmates for other reasons (such as working on group projects or attending club meetings). Asynchronous Wednesdays can also give students more to sleep, study, rest, exercise, or spend time outdoors.

Although asynchronous Wednesdays may have been a band-aid type solution for the chaos of online learning this past year, they are something that has a place in our high schools.

Reason #1: Asynchronous Wednesdays give students the opportunity to get one-on-one help from their teachers during school hours. Conversely, teachers can schedule meetings with individual students during the day, rather than coming in early or staying late.

Reason #2: Asynchronous Wednesdays give students more flexibility to work on group projects or other things with classmates outside of weekends and evenings. Meetings for extracurriculars or school clubs can also be held on Wednesdays, especially if more time is needed than what is available before or after school.

Reason #3: Having an asynchronous day of the week allows parents, students, and teachers to schedule doctor appointments or other weekday appointments and avoid missing instructional time. Overall school attendance has also been shown to improve with a four-day week in some districts.

Reason #4: Having a weekly asynchronous day has the potential to improve the mental health of students. Some states have already implemented the concept of mental health days. Anxiety and depression are rising among children in America, with a 2018 survey of teenagers by Pew Research showing that 70% of teens say that anxiety and depression are a major problem among their peers.

Reason #5: Asynchronous Wednesdays give teachers the flexibility to do prep work and prepare for their classes during the school week without having to sacrifice their time outside of the workplace.

Reason #6: Only having four days of in-person instruction has the potential to reduce transportation and overhead costs for the school district, according to a 2011 study by the Educational Commission of the States.

Overall, keeping asynchronous Wednesdays would be beneficial for students, teachers, and the school district as a whole: academically, mentally, physically, and financially. They should be considered as a potential option for the next school year or future school years.