New Bell Schedule

img_8731Last year it was discovered that Prince George High School students had not been attending school the required number of minutes as determined by the VA Department of Education. In order to remedy this issue, the county rearranged the bell schedule to be able to fit in the exact amount of time needed to be in accordance with the state. Now after having adjusted to the schedule for over a month, students assess life with the new schedule.

Pro

In the 2016-2017 school year, there have been many changes; one of which is the bell schedule. The new bell schedule allows for a fifty-nine minute first block every day and nearly one hundred minutes in every other class. Students have lunches during fourth and fifth blocks, which means a different lunch every day for most. There is also no ETEH time. Although there have been complaints about the new bell schedule, there are some good points to this change.

Nancy Odum, one of the qualified counselors at Prince George High School, approves of the new bell schedule. She recognizes that change is a good thing, even though adjustment may not be so easy.

“I think it works well for attendance purposes. Having first block in the morning every day makes it easier on the teachers taking attendance,” said Odum. This may be true, as the first period teachers see the same set of students in the morning every day. It may also help the attendance office keep track of who is absent or tardy.

In previous years, students were set on an even/odd day block schedule in which fifth block was the same class every day. This allowed for lunches to stay the same each day. However, associating with the same group of people every day may not be such a good thing.

“The new schedule allows students to see a different set of people every other day,” says Odum. This can help avoid confrontations and allow new friendships to take place.

This change can also help prepare students for college life. Depending on classes and careers, schedules will change daily. When students can adapt to changes easily, they will succeed more often in the business world. Even though some students may have complaints about the new bell schedule, it is still a positive adjustment that we all must get used to.

Con

Since the new bell schedule was implemented at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, there has been many complaints. Students and teachers alike often feel frustrated with the change.

Many students like to spend time relaxing and decompressing from a hard day after they get out of school at 2:30. Many students wake up as early as 4:30 AM to get to school on time and are often extremely tired and use the time to rest. With the absence of an allotted ETEH time in the schedule, now students have to stay after school to catch up on missed work. Some parents might not be able to get off of work in time to pick their children up. It also poses a problem with students on sports teams whom are not allowed to miss practices.

Another disadvantage to the new bell schedule is the shorter time given to eat lunch. Lunches also start later causing students to not perform at their best for a long periods of time  during the school day. Hungry students are unable to perform well in gym and they also lack the energy needed to fully participate in class. According to www.koin.com, doctors find that 25 minutes is the ideal amount of time students should be given to eat lunch, and students at Prince George High School barely get 20 minutes. With the long length of the lunch and snack lines, some students are only given 10 minutes to eat.

The bell schedule also causes problems with the extended amounts of time that students are expected to focus. With classes being 100 minutes long, students are forced to sit for extended periods of time and teachers lose student participation and attention. It has been scientifically proven that sitting for extended periods of time adversely affects us. Overall, the bell schedule has done little to improve and optimize our school days and many students would like to see a change.