Stuyvesant Replaces Core Science Classes with Mandatory Naptime

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Issue 16, Volume 112

By Astrid Harrington 

As the first year of post-pandemic in-person school draws to a close, AP tests and finals are quickly approaching. Pressure to do well is mounting on Stuyvesant students, and despite the 30-minute homework policy, many students have found themselves losing even more sleep than usual to finish their homework and efficiently study. This is essentially a form of self-sabotage, since lack of sleep has a negative effect on both academic success and emotional wellbeing.

After receiving many complaints from the Stuyvesant community, the school administration has finally decided to take the issue more seriously. Last Monday, Principal Yu held a school-wide conference with all of the representatives from each department, as well as the PA, and finally came up with a solution after an hour of brainstorming.

The solution that the school settled on was mandatory daily naptime, because the only realistic way to ensure that Stuyvesant students get more sleep is to make sleep a part of the school day. The students will now be required to sleep for an hour every day during school hours.

The first problem that arose was the question of how to incorporate this naptime into an already-packed schedule. Many students have no free periods other than lunch, and replacing lunch with naptime would create an entirely different health problem. A member of the social studies department recommended lengthening the school day in order to fit an hour of naptime into students’ schedules. This would involve having the school doors open at 6:45 a.m. so that students could arrive an hour earlier at 7:00 a.m. and sleep until 8:00 a.m., at which the day would then proceed as usual. However, this proposal was immediately obliterated by the PA, who argued that the need to open the doors an hour earlier would inconvenience the school staff. They proposed that periods be shortened to fit an 11th period into the same day, but every teacher objected to this, as it wouldn’t leave enough time for them to fully teach their curriculums.

It was an English teacher who eventually came to the rescue. He suggested that instead of lengthening the day or shortening the periods, they should simply replace a certain class with a period for mandatory naptime. It was obvious that core science classes should be the ones replaced, since they occupied a double period every other day, allowing students to get the most rest possible. On top of that, STEM is inherently inferior to English, so removing science was really an academic gain.

Everyone besides the science teachers supported the English teacher’s idea, but it wasn’t long before new problems arose. “How are you going to make the students go to sleep?” a science teacher demanded. “And what about us science teachers? Are you just going to fire us?”

The conference room was silent for a few minutes. Once again, it was the English teacher who provided the answer. “You’re right; we can’t just fire you. It would be unjust,” he declared. “I recommend that we kill two birds with one stone. The science teachers will remain employed, but their purpose will change. To ensure that every student falls sound asleep, we will have the science teachers continue lecturing!”

After that, the proposal was unanimously accepted, but the administration hasn’t stopped yet. “We’re trying to make naptime a graduation requirement for the Stuyvesant endorsed diploma,” an anonymous spokesperson said. “With determination, we can make a difference within the public school system.”

The student body’s reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. “What a great idea; it feels like we’re back in kindergarten!” sophomore Art U. Cyrius said. “I can’t wait to see how refreshing this new policy change will be,” freshman Izzy Furreal added. The most negative reaction came from senior Ygotta B. Keeding, who, when asked her opinion about the fact that students would now be sleeping during science class, laughed and said, “So nothing’s actually changing, is it?”

Unfortunately, since the science teachers were instructed to keep teaching as usual, they are still giving exams. This poses a problem for students’ grades, since it’s required to nap during all science classes. Students’ science averages have plummeted, and in the coming years, passing science-related APs will likely become significantly harder. Regardless, the administration maintains that the policy will ultimately be beneficial for Stuyvesant. We will have to wait and see!