The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Opinion: There is One Clear Winner For Best New Bell Schedule

Cedrik von Briel
The sun sets behind Woodside’s Parking lot on Monday, January 17, 2022. Woodside students were asked about their favorite law-complying bell schedule for next year before break, and there are some definite losers and winners in there

Back in forever (October 2019), California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a fantastic bill into law that would ban high schools in California from starting their day before 8:30 every morning. The change won’t go into effect until next school year. However, Woodside admins are already in the process of creating new schedules, having students fill out a survey on their preferred times

First of all, I need to commend the district for giving students a say in the process. Instead of just forcing the new schedule on everyone, the bell committee went out of their way to create, share, and look though our opinions on what our school year should look like next year. And the proposed changes in this survey aren’t just the “move everything by 30 minutes and call it a day” option, but real, hardcore changes like moving tutorial or 1st period to the end of the day or substituting 2:05 release days for early arrival. 

And seriously, these are hardcore changes. Imagine taking 1st period as your last class of the day, every day, or having to move between every single class one day every week (when the current standard is 3-4 times a year). Stuff like this hasn’t been implemented at Woodside in ages. Imagine how heavy your backpacks are gonna be! 

Luckily for you, none of the proposed changes are far off from what other schools have already implemented and would actually be the best way to balance reasonable time in class with a reasonable start and end time. Despite the numerous options and modifications that the survey is proposing, the best one to go with has to be the simplest: The good old 30-minute shift – but with a twist

The current organization of things is perfect. The 3 day-2 day block schedule cuts down on homework and backpack weight, while best of all making every week exciting. Having tutorial just after lunch allows for that extra chill time while allowing us to better utilize it as work time than if it were at the beginning or just before the end of the day, where it would be as pointless as the Taylor Swift album remakes. Wouldn’t that time be better spent working on schoolwork or other stuff at home? The 30-Minute shift would still allow for both of these Woodside hallmarks to happen, which continues their trend of being helpful. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 

However, a regular 30-minute shift won’t cut it. That’s why two bell schedules are being proposed with this change. Let’s indiscreetly call them, “The Better One,” and “The Worse One.”

Aside from the layout, another perfect thing about the Woodside schedule in general is the 3:10 dismissal. It fits snuggly in the middle of afternoon, and it allows those who play sports to have adequate game and practice time while still getting to spend the first couple minutes in 6th/7th when they need to leave early. For the rest of us, it allows you to get your homework done earlier so you can actually have a life after school. 

“The Worse One” – a simple 30-minute shift – has that 8:30 pm start time, but proposes an end to school at 3:40 pm every regular day. It’s above the pack,  but also sucks with that end time. It means students get home at 4:00 instead of 3:30 and leaves just around an hour for quality daylight in these winter months. Admittedly, Sequoia has been using the same 8:30 – 3:40 start and end times for a while now without much of a hitch, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best. Especially when considering that you’re still missing over 30 more minutes of class time if you play a sport – which is great – but comes with its own problems in catching up afterward.

Therefore, the overall best school schedule involves the thirty-minute shift, plus a 5 minute reduction in period times. Its 3:15 end time is not too far off from the current one, and it still allows for adequate time to do stuff after school. Plus, cutting 5 minutes off of classtime sounds fantastic. It’s all an absolute win-win.

Overall, the proposal to start days at 8:30 every morning will be a huge help to students who come to school sleep-deprived every morning and inspire off-brand Instagram accounts. The way we use that time, however, is vital to enriching our experience at school, and clearly, the best way to do it all is by implementing the 30-Minute Shift with a 5-minute cut. 


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About the Contributor
Cedrik von Briel, Managing Editor
Cedrik von Briel is a senior, fourth-year journalist and the Managing Editor for The Paw Print. He enjoys writing about news, nature, and local interest stuff and hopes to inform readers about current issues and events through his writing, and maybe spark their interest on the topic. In his free time, He enjoys taking photos, reading the news, being outside, biking to school, and birds.

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