The Varied Options When It Comes to Structuring the School Day


Julianna Ortiz c/o 2020

Welcome back for the 2023-2024 school year!

Colin Seibert

The debate on school schedules has been a hot topic for a few years. Between start times, class lengths, and transportation schedules school schedules some say could use a makeover.

Neighboring school system Anne Arundel County in October 2021 approved a school start time shift for this past school year, 2022-2023. “The Board of Education directed that schools move to a bell schedule where elementary schools will begin between 8 and 9 a.m., middle schools will begin between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m., and high schools will begin at 8:30 am.”

An 8:30 start time for high school is almost a whole hour later than our current start time of 7:45. Sophomore Adam W thinks all high schools should start later. “Then I could fully wake up for class so I can get my classwork done more efficiently,” he says.

Whether BCPS will eventually try something like this is unknown at this time but maybe if Anne Arundel shows positive impacts as a result of later start times for high school students. However, some students aren’t as much about the change as one would think. Sophomore Tyleah A says she’d rather stick with our early start. “Starting before 8 means we get out of school before 3 and it leaves us the whole afternoon for other things like jobs and sports.”

Some students like Myka J think if we’re ever going to overhaul the school scheduling system we should consider extending lunch. “Instead of having our 30-minute lunch period, we should change it to an hour, and let the students have time built in to their day to socialize with friends,” she suggest. Though this could cause some behavioral issues it could also be an opportunity for rewarding positive behavior and time for in school detention time as a disciplinary action. Some schools also include a flex time around their lunch time for students to meet as clubs, visit teachers for coach class or make up work.

When it comes to making changes to school schedules principal, Mr. Powell, would like students and family to consider switching to a semesterized A/B schedule like we had during the pandemic. The benefits to this would be that students would only have to focus on four classes at time which in turn would cut a teacher’s caseload of students at any one time down by half.

Whether it’s starting and ending times, building in more lunch time or club and coach class time during the school day or changing to a schedule that lightens student and teachers’ workload there are many different things to consider when structuring the school day. How would you like to see the school day structured in the future?