Bosco: New Bell Schedule Coming Soon?
by Joshua Adoh and Ethan Piechota
Talk of switching to a permanent block schedule at St. John Bosco High School is a hot topic, and the general feel among students and faculty is that the school is ready to make this change.
“It’s a community decision, and if you talk to some teachers they’re ready to go now, but I would like to move slower because this is something that affects everyone,” school principal Dr. De Larkin said.
Dr. De Larkin is in no rush to implement this potential schedule change and looks to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“This is something that affects not only teachers but affects students, parents, after school-programs, before school-programs, dismissal times and more,” De Larkin said.
Once all the logistics are settled, the school administration looks to implement the new permanent block schedule as early as January.
There are many positive changes that come with this proposed change. Two benefits are potential late starts once a week for all students, which better accompanies the way students learn at this age.
“[Benefits of late start] are that kids can sleep in and have a later start to their day, and studies say that teenagers can better function later in the day,” said Mr. Salmingo.
Late starts not only help students but also the faculty, as with late starts teachers can hold more faculty meetings to help share ideas on benefiting the school community.
Students are currently in high praise of the block schedule, as it is most of the time easier to manage for them. Less classes and less teachers to see per day is a plus for most students.
“I could see less stress because you don’t have to worry about going to all seven classes every day and always get to learn the max amount of content in that hour and a half you have. It would be a lot easier for us students to manage,” said senior Parker Gray.
The new schedule also provides more opportunity for office hours in the afternoon. Senior Daniel Munoz shared that he would enjoy the extra time in the afternoon with consistent 2 p.m. dismissal.
“[After school] we could have more time to focus on our studies or have more time to focus on a particular class. I see it really benefiting us overall,” said Munoz.
However, some students do still see benefits in sticking with the regular schedule that is already enforced daily.
“With the community at Bosco mostly composed of athletes, [those athletes] are going to be missing a lot more meetings, homework, tests, quizzes and assessments using an everyday block schedule,” said junior ASB member Nate Quigg.
With everyday block periods enforced and more one-on-one time from teachers to students, missing class periods can become crucial, especially for athletes with other obligations.
However, teachers are still primarily benefited and are better fit to stay consistent with a potential block schedule in place.
Benefits for teachers include getting more instructional time to teach their material, even despite seeing students less times during the school week.
“In science classes you can have lecture and a lab without having to space it out, because 45 minutes is such a little amount of time to be able to accomplish everything,” said science teacher Mrs. Michele Dolphin.
Mrs. Dolphin is a science teacher on campus but also a parent to two current Bosco seniors, so she has a perspective on the situation from both sides.
“As a teacher, it would allow me to have more time to teach each thing without having to rush through, and as a parent its beneficial because it allows [the students] to absorb information and get through more content,” says Mrs. Dolphin.
History teacher Mr. Mario Cordero also agreed that he wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a change, even though he does like the current tumbling schedule.
“You can get into a lot of topics and cover them in great depth [in a block period]… in final analysis I would say [the change] is a good thing,” said Cordero.
Teachers have also been trained in professional development sessions to prepare and become accustomed to these proposed schedule changes.
“We have met both formally as a faculty and in focus groups to discuss the bell schedule. We looked at the pros and cons and decided that there was more to [this proposed bell schedule] that worked than didn’t work,” said Mr. Linares.
So the question remains: Is change coming?
The supposed “finalized” new block schedule was posted on the school’s website for a majority of the summer only to be removed and replaced with the current schedule in the days leading up the the school year’s start.
The general feel around the campus here at St. John Bosco High School is that administration, teachers and students are ready and willing to accept change.
The final decision will ultimately be made by Dr. De Larkin in cooperation with his administrative team, taking into account all the stakeholders involved–student, parents, teachers as well as coaches and other faculty members that coordinate extracurricular activities.