New Year, New Bell Schedule

By Alisha Memon

As of September 5th, 2014, the Tech community was introduced to a new bell schedule. The official school day now starts at 8 am and ends at 3:35 pm. The ten academic periods range from 41 to 46 minutes. Students and faculty alike share their opinions on this school-wide change.

Aaron Chung ’15 states, “I was only just starting to get used to the old schedule and then they changed it.”

According to Paul Hoftyzer, the Assistant Principal of Health and Safety, the new bell schedule was created “to improve the efficiency of programming and room use and to allow flexibility of student scheduling.”

With this new schedule, special-use rooms can now be utilized for 10 periods a day instead of 9. Students can also choose to have a 1-10 schedule without dropping lunch.

Kelly Low ‘16 states that the new schedule is “not so bad. I like it because without that extra period, I would have had to sacrifice my lunch.”

Jennifer Sullivan, the AP of Organization (CFO), comments that the bell schedule was changed “to accommodate all of the computer classes that we need to run.  Each teacher has 5 classes – but going to a 10 period day, it allows for 2 teachers to share one room without having to find an extra room.”

Teachers now have an extra “free” period that can be used for preparing lessons, grading papers, and updating Skedula.

Caitlin Wockenfuss, an Anatomy and Physiology teacher, believes that the school changed the bell schedule because “they wanted to try to make the best of a situation where we had to extend our time but get rid of [after-school] tutoring. So by giving us this extra period it allows both teachers and students to have an option to have tutoring.”

At the same time however, shortening each period by three minutes has made a “huge difference.”

“The disadvantage [of the new bell schedule] is that a few minutes of instructional time have been sacrificed,” adds Hoftyzer. “Fortunately our teachers and students are dedicated, capable and efficient enough that they will be able accomplish all they need to even with slightly shorter periods.”

Celina Liang ’15, who ends period 7, mentions that the new bell schedule makes it “very difficult to attend after school activities that start 11th period.”

At the end of the first month of school, it seems like Tech students and faculty have embraced the change, accepting both the good and bad sides of the new schedule.

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