Upcoming bell schedule adjustment unnecessary

by Jenna Sadhu, Aquila contributor

During a school assembly on Oct. 5, Daniel Hudkins, the Director of Information Technology Service and Support for the Upper School, introduced a new schedule that will run a trial phase in January of 2016. The administration alongside the technology department created this schedule to try to reduce student stress and overall workload, but I can see a few flaws in it.

Some of the few good things that we will experience in January is the consistent time that school ends. Every school day ends at 2:50 p.m. It’s easy to remember and an improvement from our current schedule, which varies from day to day. Since every class does not appear on our schedules daily, we have an extra day to complete assignments. According to Hudkins, all students have long lunch every other day and three to four classes per day, giving students even more additional time to finish homework and projects.

With all good things come the bad. The pilot bell schedule will include seven minute passing periods between every class. This is too much time to get from class to class. I, alongside many other students, find the current five minutes we have now perfectly fine. Yes, it’s a mission to get from upstairs Nichols to upstairs Shah, but the administration doesn’t understand that the teachers in Shah and Nichols understand our struggle. Never have I ever experienced chastisement for arriving late to a class in those two buildings.

Most importantly, the actual class structure of the new schedule concerns me. Even during our current long block periods, I, and many others around me, struggle to stay attentive. Having 85-minute classes would just aggravate the problem. In addition, the new four-day rotating block schedule means that the first Friday will take place on a Monday schedule. Every four days, the schedule cycles, potentially leading to confusion. Although students might find this new format interesting, since every week will seem pretty different, the schedule’s inconsistency will become exasperating.  

After the trial period, the administration will take feedback from students, parents and faculty. I expect this new schedule to receive the same responses as PCR. Everyone will initially experience difficulties with it, but eventually we’ll find it amenable. At the end of the day, I do hope that this schedule follows through on what it promises: less stress and a smaller, overall nightly workload.


This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on November 20, 2015.


Jenna Sadhu
Jenna Sadhu (10) is a contributor to Aquila and the Winged Post. She plays on the lacrosse, soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball teams and also enjoys listening to music, cooking and hanging out with friends.