Jo Brinkerhoff '24

Students of Berkshire School!

Are you having a hard time balancing school and your personal life? Can’t decide between sleep and that third chapter of Jane Eyre? Choosing dinner or AP Calculus? 

Don’t worry! We are proposing a “NO CHOOSE, NO LOSE” system to integrate this  April! A new organizational tool to take away the burden of choice and prioritize time management with ease. A full 23.4 hours of the day are planned so personal hobbies and “downtime” won’t be an issue fogging up your judgment calls. You can go about your day constantly knowing there won’t be a single moment to stop and take a deep breath. It is an initiative we have pushed in many student and faculty committees over the past 10 years and are excited to enact within our buzzing community. 

This initiative started with the voices of students. A strong push for a schedule that would allow them to get everything done without sacrificing their health. In response to this, we knew the best solution was to plan everything out to the smallest detail. This includes their mandatory sleeping hours from 11 pm to 6 am, the perfect hours of rest. 

To share a quick outline of the schedule, you will have all-school meditation from 7-8 followed by the class day. At 3 you will have sports until you can no longer take it, and community dinner for a short two hours! Finally, programming will last from 7-9 with study hall ending the night. 

Now, students, you may be asking, what if I want to sleep before eleven? What if I have a free period in the morning? What if I finish my homework before study hall ends and want to watch a movie? 

You can’t. 

That’s the beauty of our system. No choices, no exceptions, just pure planning and a packed schedule for everyone. You will feel like you don’t even remember what you used to do with your free time; that is a good thing! 

Some parents have brought up concerns about our system. They say that students need time to do things that make them happy during the day. They say that sometimes downtime benefits mental health and promotes creativity. Furthermore, these parents think that our schedule doesn’t allow you, students, to live your lives in an independent, healthy manner. They want us to allow you the freedom to plan your own time and know your own boundaries for a more productive future. To this we say, you came to boarding school for a reason! We give you a schedule to follow, and in return, you get stress, leadership opportunities, and a diploma! Stop questioning us and you will fit right into the “No choose, No Lose” system. 

Go Bears!