Compacted school schedule.. here to stay?

My DH is a teacher, and the schedules for both universities he teaches at has been/continues to be compacted. Last semester was over before Thanksgiving. This semester doesn’t start until Feb 1. It’s very nice! It would make a future January trip to WDW very easy and convenient. We have pushed off our next WDW trip, and after hearing guesses about Tron’s opening date, I am now considering Jan 2023 for our next trip. This is both sad but perhaps also a good thing! It might mean we could save up for a stay at the Contemporary which would be so conveniently close to MK/Tron.
Anyone in the know whether this compacted schedule is here to stay? Or will things likely be back to normal by 2023?
The new vaccines are being distributed, so a longer school year could happen again in the near future… but maybe there are benefits of keeping it short?

There are drawbacks to a compacted schedule, as anyone has taken a summer (or similar) class knows. You just don’t learn as much.

1 Like

One of the schools DH taught at did 2 sessions per week instead of 1x per week in order to shorten the semester length. The other school just got rid of one of the breaks and I think did have slightly less class time. So it does seem to vary.

I honestly think all educational institutions should be evaluating all of their past practices and what is working now.


At the collegiate level, I think these compacted schedules with no breaks are going to lead to some real burnout. My DS is so stressed about the upcoming semester. He came home from college at Thanksgiving completely exhausted and drained. He finished the semester at home remotely.

They start again a week later this semester and have no spring break. Sixteen straight weeks with three random “reading days” interspersed. Oh - and no overnight trips home.

I sincerely hope this is not the wave of the future. :confounded::expressionless:


Hmmm, true, there could be some real burnout for college kids. I went to college nearby so I could come home any time I wanted/needed. And I always looked forward to the week breaks.
Still, I guess I figured kids would also appreciate the longer summers. There’d be less exposure time on campus from the flu, colds, etc. by basically skipping December and January. Teachers get a longer summer to prepare for Fall classes, etc. There are big pros and cons.

Yeah, it will be interesting to see what schools change. Or if they just can’t wait to revert back to pre-Covid times.

My son is 90 minutes from home but zero overnights permitted currently. And their summer didn’t get longer. Just the winter break. The one where he couldn’t find any work… his summer jobs (had worked 52 hours/week all summer) were specific for parks maintenance so they didn’t carry over to the break.

I think the Covid schedule is absolutely craptastic and sincerely hope it is not the wave of the future. The community college situation is even dumber. What is the point of not giving them a break? They live at home. I have no idea what K-12 is doing break wise for the whole term, but they are getting MLK day off. We homeschool.


We homeschool too. But the neighbor boy is on a four day schedule. When you tack on bussing, he leaves around 7am and isn’t home until shortly before 5pm. By which point he is too exhausted to play, or be with people.

When I was in college, in the late 90s, my college did a J-term and a compacted spring semester. J-term was typically one (or 2 for the overachiever) class for 3 weeks. It was optional and some people chose not to do it. Each class in the compressed spring semester was a little longer in length, but the same number of days per week. We still had a spring break. I found the fall semester to be a little more relaxing and less stressful than the spring. I did J-term, but I did not like doing one class every day for 3 weeks, as it usually ended up being a boring Gen Ed. But some people liked the set up.


This is the end of the second marking period (K-12), so my kids had off Thursday and Friday (in service) and they have off tomorrow.

We don’t really have week long fall or spring breaks here. Easter, they typically have off Thursday-Monday, with Monday historically being a make up snow day. They are now doing the virtual snow days, so that has changed.

I think our schools are going to go back to in person 5 days per week when they can. However, we are now doing virtual snow days, which was possible pre COVID, but our school district didn’t sign up until this year. My kids never had chrome books from the school to take home. Now that everyone has one, I’m sure that is here to stay.

1 Like

I think one of the important “takeaways” all educational institutions should recognize is that there is not “one size fits all”. Parents are posting that they hope the compacted schedule does not stay. I am confident that there are students that it meets their needs and a traditional schedule does not.

In K-12 education many students do better in-person, but not all! Take the social pressure away from some students and they bloom. Will we be able to continue this? I posted on another thread, I have a number of students connecting remotely from other states/countries while their families deal with family crisis’. Can we do this next year? Can we redefine absences and stop educational gaps? I work in a low income district and my teachers will tell you: We have small class sizes this year, students are doing high quality work, and there are absolutely no behavior issues.

I am fearful that we will all fall into that comfort zone of “the good old days”. We crave February 2020 life.


Cyber school was an option in PA before the pandemic, just not through the school districts. I’m not sure the school districts will keep up cyber school here in addition to typical in-person, but families have the option of choosing it as a charter school. I can see enrollment going up if families wanted to continue it.

Those are good points, and well-said. Hopefully there will be the same opportunities for flexibility for students in the future.

Isn’t it crazy that students couldn’t all get laptops before? It seems like everyone should have access to what is now a days a basic essential need.

I’m not sure, maybe it was a money saving thing. Our schools used them, but each classroom was assigned some and the students rotated with using them. I’m not sure if the middle school and/or high school already had them out to all students, as my kids were in elementary school.

1 Like

As @PrincipalTinker Said it is not a one shoe fits all. Online learning is probably the best thing that could happen to my oldest. He was constantly bullied and the district didn’t do jack about it. However, I really believe my middle one needs to the personal interaction


We had a device for all students 3-12 pre-pandemic but many did not go home. We learned early that that we lost devices in the elementary and early middle schools.

Every year we would budget about 300k for these devices. This year it was double. Plus we had to add to our wireless network. Zoom and Meets killed our network.

A lot of schools and districts cannot afford this: network upgrades, chrome books, iPads, headphones, hotspots for families. 300k is 4 teachers and a couple of support staff. 600k- double that staff.

1 Like

My friend’s daughter, senior in high school, has adhd and learning challenges. Her school was asynchronous for the first term. She has been more successful than ever before. Being able to stop the lecture. Rewind. Listen again. Ask her mom a question. It’s made a huge difference for her. Her success is not something my friend would have predicted. Her school is going back to a hybrid schedule for the spring term and she has decided she would rather continue fully online. (They have to commit to one or the other for the full term.)