Anchor days – mixing it up each week


Brendan Fijol and Thomas Rossman




The latest addition to New Trier’s schedule, the anchor day, has been in effect now for more than two months.

Designed with the intention of allowing students a day to get caught up with work and meet with teachers, these anchor days have also resulted in extra free periods, as different departments take days to meet and go on retreats.

They seem to be working as intended. A poll of 31 students found that 77% felt anchor days helped them catch up on schoolwork. 63% of those people had either two or three free periods on the last anchor day, while some even had as many as six.

“At first I was kind of nervous because I thought there was going to be more homework,” says sophomore Caden Adrianopoli. “But now I kind of like it because I feel like it’s a day where I can situate myself and get what needs to be done done.”

This sentiment was reflected in some of the staff. One sophomore chemistry teacher said he didn’t really know what to expect when the school announced it was shifting to the new anchor day schedule at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

“We’ve changed the schedule so much in the last few years, it just felt like another change was going to be tough for students and teachers.”

Now that we’ve had a chance to experience the new schedule however, the teacher said it was a helpful addition to the week, often for the same reasons as students.

“It’s a day where I can catch up on class activities and meet with students because they have those periods off. In the end, I’m beginning to warm to the anchor day schedule.”

Do anchor days leave students with too much time on their hands? The survey found mixed results, with 62% of students saying that they used their time off wisely.

“The first two weeks there wasn’t enough homework to really fill that time,” says Adrianopoli. However, as the workload ramped up, he said, “It’s becoming more necessary. I can rely on it as time to get my homework done when I wouldn’t really have that time with the old schedule.”

On the other hand, a student who preferred to remain anonymous said they thought anchor days were a waste of time.

“With the 35 minute periods we don’t really learn anything. It’s just kind of a hold-up in the middle of the week.”

The shortened class periods haven’t been affecting the sciences, at least.

“Our schedule is relatively similar to what we had before, given that we meet five times a week, so it hasn’t really changed the workload of the class,” said the chemistry teacher.

While the new schedule lends complexity to the school week, it offers “a low stress mentality,” adds Adrianopoli.

So this Wednesday, most of us will head to the library and scramble to get our homework done in those precious minutes of free time.

Or, maybe watch some Netflix and finish that essay later.