Should Wilson continue the 4×4 schedule?

Kassiani Anifantis and Devan Mehta


Coming out of the first semester, I feel exhausted from the last four months. Thanks to the 4×4 schedule, I get a fresh start for the second half of the year. This schedule is highly preferable it because it reduces stress and allows students to fully devote themselves to their current classes.

One benefit of the 4×4 schedule is the ability to focus on fewer subjects at a time. Having to maneuver eight classes, eight teachers, and eight different canvas pages divides students’ attention among multiple topics, preventing them from fully immersing themselves in any one class or assignment. It also doesn’t leave much time for relaxation or extracurricular activities like clubs and sports. Having four classes allows students to retain details and information more easily without the struggle of attempting to engage fully in eight classes at once. 

Another benefit of the 4×4 schedule is the switch to different classes in the second semester. Many people view this as a negative because it removes people from the routine they had created with the classes and school day. But switching our routines halfway through the year lets not only students, but teachers as well, to start new classes with a clean slate. As a semester goes on, students can get stuck in bad habits or cycles like waiting until the last second to turn in work or waking up five minutes before leaving the house. Switching schedules allows for a reset where students can implement new habits both in and out of school. 

Finally, if there is a class a student doesn’t like, they will only have to deal with it for half the year. This may seem negligible, but switching classes creates new energy and excitement for school. The effect of this is that students bring their full attention to each class and are generally more engaged and prepared for each day. Teachers benefit from this as well, as classes filled with excited students are easier to teach and more enjoyable.

Although many students worry about the potential effects of the 4×4 schedule on AP classes and exams, this is no reason to ditch the 4×4. Many students at Wilson take few, if any, AP classes. Furthermore, the benefits of the 4×4 are too numerous to abandon the structure. Students benefit from its simplicity, diversity, and excitement. •


Having four classes a day, every day a week, for only half the year is impractical. This boring and monotonous schedule is detrimental to Wilson students because it prevents consistency, disrupts AP courses, and creates an uneven workload throughout the year.

When it comes to retaining information, having the 4×4 block schedule is like extending summer by four months. When the first semester ends, students don’t study these subjects again until the next fall, which causes them to naturally forget everything they learned. In subjects like math and foreign language, consistency is the best way to learn. The only way to master a subject is by sticking with it, but the 4×4 spreads out the content across four years, making it difficult to stay consistent. Returning to school in the fall is hard enough after a two-month break, but it’s unrealistic that students will remember much after the six-month break created by the 4×4.

Another issue with the timing of the 4×4 schedule is AP exams. Students are expected to take the AP exam for any of the AP classes they have taken that year. With the 4×4 schedule, you may take some or all of your AP classes in the fall. By the time exams come in May, many students are so preoccupied with their current classes that finding the time to relearn material from their fall AP courses is impossible. 

However, students taking AP courses in the second semester fare no better. Second semester AP classes have around 30 fewer instructional days than their first semester counterparts. With significantly fewer instructional days, this leaves content either unreviewed or rushed. Many teachers are also harmed as they are forced to rush through content to finish it before the exam.

One final issue that can arise from 4×4 scheduling is an uneven workload. It is not guaranteed that a student’s harder classes will be spread throughout the year. Instead, one semester may be filled with rigorous courses while the other is more laid-back. For one half of the year, a student may feel overloaded and stressed, while the other half is a fraction of the work. Students would be better off having a moderate, consistent workload for a full school year.

If Wilson abandons the 4×4 schedule next year, students will benefit by retaining more information, being better prepared for AP exams, and staying motivated throughout the year. •