Administration Plans to Implement New Schedule


Alex Shupp via Archives

This year, Beachwood High School students can sleep 35 minutes later.

Word on the street is that BHS might have a new schedule next fall.

Principal Tony Srithai is well into the process of planning a schedule with the goals of making it easier for students to attend academy and for teachers to collaborate.

The schedule is not yet finalized.

“I’d like for it to be, but we’re still in the process of planning,” Srithai said.

One controversial aspect of the proposed schedule is that it may require a 7:35 start time,15 minutes earlier than the first period bell currently rings.

“I would hope people realize the benefits of the schedule change would far outweigh the negatives,” Srithai says.

Srithai understands that starting school earlier is a controversial move, but that doesn’t mean the schedule won’t be implemented. He hopes that the response to a schedule change will be a positive one.

For a student who wants to go to AM or PM academy, the [current] structure is too loose. It’s hard for students to navigate when teachers are free.

— Principal Tony Srithai

Many have argued that teens should be starting school later.

Freshman Mallory Chylla believes an earlier start time will be difficult.

“I don’t like the schedule change because I feel it isn’t adhering to the needs of teenagers today,” she said.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that moving the school start time to 8:20 helped high school students.

“We found the same patterns of benefit for the health of teens with a later start time,” Kyla Wahlstrom wrote in Phi Delta Kappan. “Among the 9,395 students in our study, those who slept eight or more hours each night were significantly less likely to: report symptoms of depression; fall asleep in class; drink caffeinated beverages; have a phone or computer in their bedroom; and do dangerous things without thinking.”

Srithai and the scheduling committee hope to move the academy into the school day. This would require an earlier school start time.

However, English teacher Todd Butler sees more negatives than positives regarding this schedule change.

“I don’t think [the schedule change] is beneficial for students,” he said.

‘If you had asked me three years ago I would’ve been against it,” Butler said, “because I took my kids to school in the morning.”

Although he doesn’t need to do this anymore, he sympathizes with teachers that still do have to take their kids to school or daycare in the morning.

“Another negative [is] that teachers like to come early and prep for the day, and [with the schedule change], some teachers might not be able to get here until five minutes before,” Butler points out. “This might create a rush, and I don’t know if that’s a good way to set the tone for the day.”

However, Srithai has his eyes on a different issue altogether.

“For a student who wants to go to AM or PM academy, the [current] structure is too loose,” Srithai said. “It’s hard for students to navigate when teachers are free.”

Academy built into the school day seems to be the best solution the scheduling committee has come up with.

Sophomore Eric Golovan is also skeptical of the idea of bringing academy into the school day.

“Academy shouldn’t be mandatory; it should be optional,” he said. “It’s not fair for students who don’t need help to be here when students who do need help are.”

Butler believes that there really isn’t a benefit to moving the school day earlier.

Academy shouldn’t be mandatory; it should be optional. It’s not fair for students who don’t need help to be here when students who do need help are.

— Sophomore Eric Golovan

“It would be very beneficial if students used that academy time built into the day to their benefit,” Butler said. “…Though I’m not sure it’ll pay off.”

There are multiple people involved in the process of creating a new schedule. Teachers and administrators are involved as well as soliciting important feedback from the school district’s central office.

Srithai described the process of drafting a new schedule.

“We met with a teacher-level committee to solicit feedback about things that are working with the current schedule,” he said.

Then the group listed things they believe would improve students’ learning.

“Then teachers generated a list of impediments and road blocks,” Srithai said. “…things that keep up from achieving that wish list.”

While a more organized academy is an important reason to change the schedule, there are other reasons as well.

“One of the biggest items on the teachers’ wish list was to be able to collaborate and work together,” Srithai said. “From a student standpoint, there is student support [teachers would] like to offer and the current schedule limits us in that support,” Srithai explained.

“How often do you see your math and English teachers talking?” Srithai asked. “Probably not as much as they’d like the time for.”

While he recognizes the potential benefits, Butler feels that teens need more sleep, not less.

“I feel like elementary and high schools schedules should be flipped,” Butler shares. “Starting earlier may be problematic for older kids,” Butler said, “I think high school kids have trouble getting out of bed early.”

“We’re in the planning stages so nothing is finalized yet,” Srithai says, “And before any decisions are made, we would definitely get information out to students, staff and families.”

Sophomore Olivia Wilbur put it simply.

“I think it’ll do more harm than good,” she said.

“I think it’s important that the teachers really have a voice in influencing the right decision,” Butler shares, “I just hope we can find common ground on both sides.”

The administration will host a discussion for students regarding new building safety measures and a revised bell schedule on Thursday, May 17 from 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm in the Community Room.

There will be another discussion for parents–also in the Community Room–on Thursday, May 17 from 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm.