There are many reasons why people despise Mondays, but for many Palo Alto High School students the Monday bell schedule can be a contributing factor as students are required to attend all seven periods, which results in 50 minute periods rather than the 90 minute period block periods. Paly administration has formed a Bell Schedule Review Committee (BSR) to recommend a schedule that will optimize students’ mental health.
“C-days are stressful because we work due for all our classes and then we don’t even have enough time in class to do much,” said Junior Iris Yuan. “At least in block days we have fewer classes and more time to do things.”
The committee was made because of feedback over the years from students about the structure of the school day, particularly, C-days, flex time and advisory. By evaluating the current schedule, the BSR hopes to pilot the improved schedule for the 2017-18 school year.
“There is still the issue of test stacking and homework load and students say that block days are better because at least on a block day you only have a few classes,” said Principal Kim Diorio.
The first meeting was held on Nov. 15 and the committee plans to meet monthly after school. The committee has a total of 22 people including students, parents and staff in order to get different perspectives and input regarding the C-day bell schedule.
“I’m president of Paly sports boosters and I hope I can bring the perspective of the athletes because I have a son that plays water polo, so that is a factor to look at,” said Melissa Anderson, a Paly parent on the BSR.
Recommendations that came from the committee had to consider different criteria such as the number of class periods that meet each day, time dedicated to advisory and social-emotional learning, time for teacher collaboration to align curriculum and state requirements.
“Every schedule has plusses and minuses and we need to be careful of what type of impact it has with students who have different obligations and needs,” Anderson said.