For the 2021-2022 school year, SCHS implemented a new bell schedule that includes 95-minute block periods and an 8:45 a.m. start time. This new bell schedule will have everlasting benefits for both students and teachers.
The new schedule will improve students’ attention spans during class due to later wake up times and increased amount of sleep. In previous years, first period began at the early time of 7:30 a.m. According to an article by Melody Wilding from Inc.com, the most ideal time to take in new information is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.. The new schedule helps set students up to successfully learn when their brains are functioning best.
Furthermore, the early start time led to sleep deprivation among some students. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers should get between 8-10 hours of sleep each night. The later start time will help encourage students to get an adequate amount of sleep.
A later start time also allows some students to utilize their time in the morning for different activities. While some students may use the later start time to sleep more, other students may take the time to prepare full breakfasts and even lunches. In the past some may have felt they did not have time in the morning to eat a full breakfast, but now, healthier eating habits are encouraged with more time before school.
The block schedule takes place four out of the five days during the school week, and there is a ten-minute passing period between block periods. In previous years, it was only six minutes, which made it difficult to do anything besides get to the next class. Within these ten minutes, there is ample time to use the restroom, refill water bottles and socialize with friends all while still being able to get to class in a timely manner.
Due to the block schedule, students do not attend all of their classes every day and thus do not have to bring all their school materials for each class every day. Not only does this prevent disorganization but it also helps remove some of the weight of heavy backpacks. Although a small change, lighter backpacks will have positive benefits in the long run regarding physical health.
While some subjects are not as impacted by the lengthy 95-minute periods, the longer class time allows for many classes to start and complete activities without feeling rushed. Science classes have the ability to conduct experiments and complete labs with plenty of time. Art classes, such as ceramics and painting, also enable students to carefully create their artwork.
Although some may object to the new bell schedule due to the long 95-minute periods and later dismissal time, the schedule promotes healthier sleeping and eating habits. While the schedule may have been difficult to adjust to at first, the benefits it will have on students will be worth it in the long run.