When Schedules Attack
The 2017 school year at Bainbridge Island High School started just like normal, or so everyone thought. Students came to school on September 6th to find the schedule most of them had been using for years, had changed.
Over the summer of 2017, the school district decided to change the schedule in a few different ways. The most obvious one to students was the start and end time of the school day. To save money the district moved the schedule 10 minutes forward in order to condense bus routes. That means the school day would go from starting at 8:35 to 8:45. The ending of the day was respectively shifted from 3:00 to 3:10. The largest concern for students regarding this change was that their sports and after-school activities would not comply with the change.
“I have 15 minutes to run to the lockers, change and be out on the field, like come on!” one sophomore stated. As the year progressed, many students claim to have adjusted with the annoyance of the schedule change as a minimum, that was until students and teachers started to realized that something still didn’t feel right. What the administration at BHS failed to communicate with the students was that students Monday breaks were gone and five minutes was stripped from first lunch, juxtaposed to second.
On Mondays, students had always enjoyed a five-minute break in between second and third period but starting 2017 it was taken away and added to first period. The thought behind these actions was to give first-period teachers a chance to go over the bulletin in class and take care of announcements. Many teachers however, failed to do this.
“My teacher sometimes puts it up on the smartboard in a font so small I can’t even read it, and I sit in the very front row, and I don’t need glasses,” exhaled a current student. The final change to the schedule was the five minutes withdrawn from first lunch to make 3rd or 4th period (depending on the day) the same amount of class time as the other two periods that day, 105 minutes of class to 110.
Teachers in the social studies department at BHS started to raise this issue with students, bringing up the fact that 14% of your lunchtime is taken away so that class can be 4.5% longer. These effects were felt by the students, we asked Nel Straub, 10th Grade, how she felt. “Oh, I didn’t like it. It was harder to concentrate on my classes on Monday without the mental break we had last year between 2nd and 3rd period. And it doesn’t seem fair that one lunch was shorter than the other, especially for an extra five minutes to be added to first period because of morning announcements which don’t even take one minute,” said Straub.
It looks as though two and a half weeks into the school year and the BHS’ administration is answering the student plea. Starting Monday, September 25th, breaks will be back on Monday and both of the lunches will be the same amount of time, giving students the time and break they have been asking for.