School change Schedule in regards of “Public Health”
Is pushing back students’ schedules beneficial?
In California, a new law established that school starting times need to be pushed back to 8:30 A.M, nothing earlier. The law was implemented earlier this year. Due to the new law, Huntington Beach High School (HBHS) had to change the bell schedule. The state administered a vote to either keep the option for students to have a zero period or to take it away and push back class schedules. Ultimately, the decision was made to enact a later schedule. Students and teachers have mixed feelings about the new program; many cite that the change conflicts with their personal lives.
HBHS AVID teacher, Mrs. Broesamle, was asked about the process of voting and what steps were taken to come to the conclusion of Huntington Beach High Schools’ current bell schedule, and said “[there was] a whole committee that [discussed] it.”
From the teacher’s perspective, there is a balance that has been slightly difficult to maintain. The new schedule has taken some time to get used to.
Mrs. Broesomale said, “The schedule has affected my teaching both negatively and positively. Negatively because it’s more of a challenge. It’s also harder to keep students on task, but it’s also positive because it’s nicer to have more time in class.”
Effects on attention span have been a common trend with this new schedule change. Students and teachers find it different from previous schedules, as the first period is a daily class, yet it’s only for 45 minutes compared to the 100 minute block periods. Some find that there is no time to learn anything in their first period.
Tara Reuss, an HBHS senior student said, “It’s a little chaotic because I kind of forget which day we’re going into so then I go to the wrong class. Or I think we’re on Tuesday’s schedule when it’s actually Mondays or vice versa, so then I’ll go to the wrong class, making it a little bit more chaotic.”
Not all students feel the same way, some think the schedule is beneficial. Tori Haberl, a senior at HBHS says, “It benefits me because I get a lot more work done. My homework load is less than before and it takes away the stress of not going to the same class every day.”
The whole purpose for pushing back the new schedule was to help students sleep, which may improve their mental health, thus positively affecting their academics. Yet aspects that were not taken into consideration were after-school activities or jobs. A handful of students described how it was different and that they felt neutral about the whole change, but many students shared a common complaint about after-school stress. Many don’t like how late we get out of school now.
Haberl explains how she had to get signed out early a few times to make it to work on time. “Sometimes it does interfere with my work. I do have a podcast and an internship so sometimes I need to get signed out early for my job. I wish seniors had the option to get out early.”
It seems that student sleeping habits aren’t changing for the better as their activities are being pushed back. For example, Reuss, who is also in the marching band, feels that her practices are much later than in past years. She says, “there’s no time for [myself].”
Arabella Ginter, a Freshman at HBHS says, “I feel like my attention span is already horrible from my phone and my classes are so boring, it makes me want to leave or go on my phone. I find myself looking at the clock or asking people what time this class ends. There is also not enough time in the first period [to get work done].”
It seems that the new bell schedule is a big change that most have opinions on. As a solution, schools and administrators should take into consideration breaks in classes to help students stay focused, even accounting for extracurriculars and letting students out early if needed. The new bell schedule had the right idea of wanting students’ sleep schedules to improve by incorporating the new later start time, but the schedule has raised a lot of issues for students and staff.