Breaking Down the New Bell Schedule

Breaking Down the New Bell Schedule

Ashley Veazey, Photo Editor

A new bell schedule is making the annual back to school adjustment especially difficult this year. Although stressful to some, this modification was originally made to help the school by creating time for student tutoring during school hours.

“The main point behind changing the schedule related to the governing board,” said Assistant Principal Candace Steadman. “The Academic Council wanted more flexibility in the schedule to allow students to get tutoring.”

There were two options on the table: either to introduce a block schedule or to modify the previous schedule from the 2016-17 school year. The change was voted on in late February/March of last spring.

“And so the revised schedule that developed from the committee was to take off one minute from every period and add roughly seven minutes to lunch to allow more time,” said Steadman.

Some students are enthusiastic about having the extra minutes, now able to sit down and eat without feeling rushed.

“I have more time to eat food. I like food,” said junior Henry McKlin, upon being asked whether he supported longer lunches.

Freshman Lindsey Alexander found that the advantages of a longer lunch outweighed the disadvantages of  a larger lunch.

“I don’t really feel a difference with the number of people in the cafeteria,” she said. “The extra couple of minutes are really helpful to finish eating and it lets me enjoy my meal.”

Others simply view the change as an impact caused by the non-standard times for transitional periods.

“I think really the larger concern is just like, it’s not that I feel rushed at all at lunch anymore because we have 10 more minutes–it’s just that I’m annoyed by the bell schedule,” said senior Chloe Hyatt.  “I don’t know why we randomly leave at like 2:19–that’s frustrating to remember.”

Regardless of the varying opinions on this new implementation, one major concern recognized by both students and administrators is safety–during both lunch and transitional periods.

In fact, the previously instated “one-entry-process” by which students traveled to and from the Fine Arts building was removed just last week, in efforts to maintain the protection of students.

“I was told that they changed the one-entry process due to Fire Marshal codes.  We have an expanding enrollment and need all entryways to be available and accessible,” said Steadman.

In order to maximize route options between the main building and Fine Arts building, Steadman has recently opened up both the first floor and one cafeteria door leading outside to the Bulldog Plaza to be utilized between classes.

“What I started is, during transitional period, I opened one door on level one for students to cut through the cafeteria. If you’re trying to get to the fine arts building, level one is an option for that.”

She pointed out, however, that this accessibility is only available for the five minutes between classes.

“So that’s one relief effort, but that’s only going to happen during transitional periods, not during class time.”

To students who are still struggling to adapt to the change, Steadman offers a bit of advice.

“What I would say primarily is just like what we said before we changed the schedule: Try to take more than one subject with you at a time. Don’t try to go to your locker every single time the bell rings.”