Keep the Murrow Band Aid
Keep the Murrow Band Aid
Dear Mr. Barge,
We are requesting that the option of having a Band-aid schedule be included in the upcoming SBO vote, so the members of the Murrow community can decide for themselves if they still want to retain a version of the schedule.
We would like to take this opportunity to explain why we fully support the continuation of a schedule that employs a Band-aid. The Band-aid has been modified multiple times since the inception of Murrow in 1974, to meet the ongoing changes presented by the Department of Education. Our Band-aid can align with the recent guidelines provided by Michael Mulgrew. We are confident that we can modify the Band-aid to suit our current needs; this includes increasing time with students both in and out of the classroom. Figuring out how to make this happen will be a herculean task; however, we strongly feel that this can be done.
We are aware that there are members of our community who are not in support of OPTAs as we know them. While both Band-aids and OPTAs are parts of the Murrow tradition, they are not the same; as such, they should be dealt with separately.
Please note the following:
Social-Emotional Health of Rising Juniors and Seniors
We are all committed to a smooth transition back into our lives at Murrow. Providing a similar schedule to the Band-aid (and the Catch-Up days we used during remote learning) can help provide continuity for our students who are fortunate enough to have experienced Murrow at its best with its traditional Band-aid. More importantly, the lack of continuity may be more disruptive to students’ mental health upon their return.
Social-Emotional Health of Rising Sophomores
Students are accustomed to the Catch-Up days of Murrow and are familiar with meeting their teachers four times a week. The traditional Band-aid allows for greater continuity in this aspect. Additionally, most middle schools used schedules that changed the order in which classes met each day to prepare them for high school, and their collegiate experiences. For many students, particularly rising Sophomores, the last in-person experience they had at Murrow was not with the same schedule every day.
Educators and Support Staff Maximize Time with Students
Four longer class periods will allow for more learning opportunities for our students than five shorter period classes. Longer bands allow teachers to delve more deeply into the material, provide more time for student-centered activities with opportunities for real-time teacher feedback, and are more conducive to learning circles and stations; in addition, longer class periods are integral to the many art classes that provide students with such a unique and meaningful learning experience at Murrow.
While we will have to await guidance on exactly how we will be dealing with our students’ social-emotional learning and well-being, we do know we will need to spend class time on these SEL activities before delving into academics. Therefore, a longer period would be more suitable to our students’ SEL needs.
Preparing Students for the Future
It is our job as educators to prepare our students for all facets of life. We at Murrow pride ourselves on helping our students to become college-ready. The current Band-aid more closely mimics the schedule of a college student where classes do not meet every day and often meet at different times each day. The Band-aid allows students to have some continuity (for example, students know what bands meet each weekday), while simultaneously helping them foster a sense of independence and responsibility that will prepare them for life in college and beyond.
Alleviating Student Confusion
Although there has been concern expressed about students’ ability to follow the Band-Aid, our students have always welcomed the adaptations that make Murrow a unique high school. While there can be some confusion when students are first introduced to the Band-Aid, Murrow students quickly become acclimated. We wish to continue to foster the rites of passage that come with entering high school, which address the needs of the increasingly independent student in a Brave New World. Some challenges are necessary to adapt to a growth mindset. Becoming familiar with the Band-Aid schedule assists students, in a non- threatening way, with the natural transitions of academia and life.
Additionally, as need be, there are many new approaches we can take to help our students familiarize themselves with it in a more seamless manner. For example, we can color-code the small and large Band-aids that we distribute, as well as having multiple poster-sized color-coded Band-aids hung throughout the hallways, in classrooms and offices.
Relief of Students’ Stress
We understand that helping students manage stress and trauma is of the utmost importance as we return to in-person learning. It is crucial to provide “breaks” for students. While the many demands of the school day can often exacerbate students’ stress, providing space within their programs to relieve stress, as our Bank-aid schedule does, can help students to cope. An added benefit is that a “break” from a subject also allows for greater variety in the day and better processing of academic information which also increases receptivity to new learning.
Most agree that it is not necessarily the Band-Aid, the OPTAs, the electives, or any one thing at Murrow that makes our school the unique and extraordinary school it is. It is, however, a culmination of these things. Murrow is what it is because of myriad of factors, including its teachers, its diversity, the forward-thinking environment and the freedom it allows to its students, its opportunities for new experiences, its intention to expose students to new ideas, its embrace of creativity, and its way of making a community of thousands of people No matter what program a student is in, what their social group is, what subjects they enjoy, or what extracurricular activities they do, there are things at Murrow that create an intrinsic bond. The experience of the Band-Aid is one of these things but it is integral. It is something the students talk about with each other; tell their new friends about when they go to college, and is one factor that continues to unify us as a community currently and for many years to come.
Finally it is with great love of our school community and it’s traditions that have fostered great ideas and supported many endeavors, that we strongly recommend that we keep our long- standing Band-aid tradition. For the sake of our students, staff, parents, alumni and support personnel, we urge you to remain vigilant in your support of a Band-like schedule,which has stood for generations. We look forward to many more smiles from students as we CARE for them in only ways that Edward R. Murrow can and should.
The following articles describe how this type of schedule can be of great benefit to high school students.
Thank you for your time and attention.
With hope and commitment for unity,
The following members of our community endorse our vision for maintaining a Band-aid.