Seniors on the CHS Half Day


Scarlett London

Seniors Tommy Simon, Karim Mohamed, Zoe Simmons, Matthew Castilho and James Azim sit in their FOS 4 Physics class on Thursday, Oct. 20. Because of the half-day schedule, classes were only 30 minutes long.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, CHS held a half day for their students, so teachers could spend the afternoon in professional development. Students spent 30 minutes in each of their classes, finishing seventh block at noon.

CHS seniors James Azim, Matthew Castilho and Tommy Simon sat in Jonathan Thomas-Palmer’s shortened physics class with their laptops closed as Thomas-Palmer played pop music hits, specifically from the year 1974. While they enjoy being at school and seeing their friends on these shortened days, the seniors believe they could be spending their time in better ways.

Castilho thinks the day could be used to bring the community together.

“We could hold events and people could have fun,” Castilho said. “We could do some sort of ‘not school as usual day’ which would be a better use of time than 30-minute classes. Otherwise, we should have the understanding that all those classes are going to be study periods.”

When Azim gets home, he has college applications to work on and homework to do. He wishes he could use this time to work, instead of sitting through short classes, where teachers often choose not to teach lessons.

“We don’t really get anything done or get into any one topic,” Azim said. “We aren’t able to get involved in the lectures in class. If I were home, I could catch up on sleep and get my applications done.”

Simon wishes these days could be a time to get independent work done and help from teachers if necessary. He feels that if these half days were optional, students could use the time to touch base with teachers and develop their own strategies to catch up on their late work.

“It would work a lot better if this time could be used for students to work independently,” Simon said. “Because everyone expects to show up on these half days and do nothing.”

While many students do not attend school on these half days and expectations remain low, teachers like Thomas-Palmer nonetheless enjoy the chance to interact with students more casually. He chose not to lecture or teach lessons, instead engaging his students in conversation about his famous “Flipping Physics” videos, and using the time to answer physics questions.

“If I wasn’t here right now, I’d just be editing videos,” Thomas-Palmer said. “It’s always lovely to see [my students].”