New School Year Brings New Bell Schedule

Principal Paul Chase formed a faculty committee last spring that helped develop this years bell schedule.
Principal Paul Chase formed a faculty committee last spring that helped develop this year’s bell schedule.
2023 bell schedule

A new bell schedule has become a fall tradition that BHS students have come to expect in recent years.

This year the school start time is pushed forward from 8:35 to 8:20 a.m.; the school end time is pushed back from 2:50 to 2:56 p.m.; class periods are three minutes longer per period; on Wednesdays there is no more late start, but there is an early release time at 2:35 p.m. instead; activity period has been dropped, but on occasion, special Friday schedules occur, with periods shortened by six minutes to allow time for an assembly or activity at the end of the day. 

Principal Paul Chase explained the process of developing this year’s schedule. Last spring he formed a committee that included both administrators and teachers from each department in order to give teachers a say in the formation of the schedule. The committee created staff surveys to gain more information about their colleagues’ preferences. 

In addition to faculty concerns, busing also plays a major part in creating the schedule

“We just have to adjust sometimes to make sure everybody has a bus – the little kids, the middle schoolers and the high schoolers,” Chase said.

With three additional minutes per class, students taking six classes are gaining an additional 18 minutes per day, which adds up to 54 more hours of learning over the course of the school year.

The staff surveys led to the new special Friday schedules. 

“We found that at the beginning of the year, we needed a lot of activity periods, but as we got past January, we didn’t need as many activity periods,” Chase said. “We mapped out the entire year in advance, and if a certain activity has to get done, we will be able to put it on the special Friday and when we don’t need a Friday special schedule, we will keep it regular”. 

Faculty input also led to the creation of the new early dismissal Wednesdays. Even though BHS had a late start on Wednesdays last year, students were more often tardy to class on Wednesdays first period.

“The goal was to have a sustained time, every day starting at 8:20 so no one forgets,” Chase said. “It’s a routine; it’s allowing you to develop routines.” 

Staff professional development has been moved from the beginning to the end of the day on Wednesdays.

Chase hopes that extended class time will also benefit students.

“The teachers and administrative team felt that more instructional time was very beneficial, and so every period jumped from 45 minutes to 48 minutes,” Chase said. “That doesn’t sound like much, three minutes every period, but let’s say you take six classes, that’s three additional minutes in those classes. That’s 18 additional minutes a day times 181, so 18 times 181 is all the extra time we’ve added to learning at BHS this year.”

Students may think three additional minutes per period is unnecessary, but when adding up throughout the year over six classes, students are gaining an additional 18 minutes per day which adds up to 54 more hours of learning over the course of the school year.

While the staff had reasons for making changes, some students, interviewed in the first few weeks of school, had more negative opinions.

“The longer schedules are pretty painful,” senior Jacob Goldman said. “You really feel those extra three minutes every class.”

“I am against the earlier start in the day, and I want my old Wednesdays back, but I am a fan of the special Friday,” sophomore Asher Gearity said.

“I really don’t appreciate this [new schedule],” junior Elijah Kriwinsky said. “I feel like I need more time in the morning to get ready.” 

Junior Jude Landes and senior Sagiv Tirosh are also not too happy about the new schedule.

“I was looking forward to coming back to school until I heard about the new schedule changes,” Landes said. “I would rather have a later start than an earlier one.”

“I think that the new schedule is holding me back because the classes got so much longer…  I find it hard to concentrate for that long,” Tirosh said. “I miss our activity period where I could enjoy my Wednesdays.”

The longer schedules are pretty painful. You really feel those extra three minutes every class.

— Senior Jacob Goldman

Junior Arpith Prasad was taken aback by all the changes. 

“They’re kind of confusing, the additional class times, the earlier starts, and the new early leave on Wednesdays, but I’ll get used to it,” Prasad said.  

While students have complaints about the new schedule, they also offer some solutions. 

“I would add back the late start on Wednesdays but make them start at ten, and instead of a traditional activity period on Wednesday I would push it back to Friday,” said Gearity. 

“I would just put it back to the schedule from last year and keep Wednesdays like a normal weekday still,” Goldman said. “I really liked the late start on Wednesdays, but not the activity period.” 

Tirosh likes some aspects of the schedule, but could do without others.

“I would like to have the activity period back and make the classes back to forty-five minutes,” he said.

Although the change may be rough initially, Kriwinsky says he may get used to it. 

“I feel that this schedule may begin to grow on me,” he said. “I am still pretty upset that they changed it this year… It feels really random.”

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