After months of deliberation, the Palo Alto High School Bell Schedule Review Committee came to a decision for the 2017-18 school year calendar.
Next year, the allotted time for InFocus will be increased from five minutes to 10 minutes on block days and shown at the end of third and fourth period, rather than the beginning. Additionally, there will be required flex time on Thursday for students who do not have advisory.
California public high schools are required to have 54,000 instructional minutes per school year yet it was discovered earlier that Paly was not meeting this requirement. Once this discovery was made, the Paly Bell Schedule Review Committee worked to combat the issue.
The additional minutes from the extended InFocus, as well as the required flex time on Thursday, will make up for the current loss of instructional minutes.
Before deciding upon a final decision, the Bell Schedule Review Committee seeked the advice of the students themselves. Students had the option to vote in a survey from a selection of different proposed schedules for the upcoming school year and further in the future.
Several of the proposed ideas included abandoning C-days. One option was to have alternating even and odd block periods throughout the entire year; however there was concern that students would get confused week-to-week on what classes they had on which days.
Another option was to get rid of C-days and only have Mondays as alternating even and odd blocks. However, there was still concern about having the same block two days in a row. For example, there would be some days where students would have Monday and Tuesday as both even blocks or Friday and Monday as both odd blocks. Students were concerned that this would not give some classes enough time to finish the homework assigned, as the time spacing would be skewed.
Ultimately, it was decided that the best solution for the 2017-18 school year was to keep C-days and add in extended time for InFocus as well as a second day of advisory.