Opinion: Connect Time is changing

Meghan Dincler | Staff Writer

Connect Time. Designed for students to be able to have fun with their friends during the school day to improve their mental health. Or at least, that’s how it started.

I’ve had some doubts as to whether Connect Time is actually helping in the way that it was designed to. With the amount of meetings that students are being required to go to, and the large amount of advisory sessions, I’m not sure if the hour of “free time” we get is actually improving anyone’s mental health.

Now, I’m not trying to say that it is harming student’s mental health. I just don’t think it is helping anymore. I, like many other students, was devastated when they announced that they were ditching Primetime. Ok, maybe devastated is an exaggeration, but I was pretty upset. 

I was against Connect Time solely because it was replacing Primetime, but when we had our first session and I got to see all of the cool things that were available, I was actually on board with the idea. I really enjoyed having an hour in the middle of the day where I could go watch Marvel movies with my friends, or go write in Mrs. Bross’ room. It was fun, and I was singing the praises of those who came up with it.

Then that changed. Every time I went to schedule my Connect session for the week, I would see it was already filled up. Between mandatory meetings in the auditorium and advisory sessions, I know that I haven’t been able to pick my own Connect Time for the entirety of November at least, and I know other students haven’t either. 

Even in the case that you do get to schedule your own session, your options are getting more and more limited. As I’m scrolling the Flexisched site, I’m seeing more and more “Algebra help sessions” and teachers who take advantage of the time to continue teaching. 

This is to no fault of the teachers, of course. They have so much coursework they have to get through, and often the goals of the sessions are to try to keep students from drowning in homework. However, no matter how pure the intentions may be, the amount of Connect sessions that are actually fun for the students are slowly dwindling. 

Connect Time is already starting to decline into something that is more of a chore and an obligation than something that is actually enjoyable for students. I’m hoping that it will turn back around, but I’m concerned that it is only going to get worse as the school year continues. 

Maybe it’s time to go back to Primetime.