SRHS May Change Bell Schedule Next Year

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SRHS May Change Bell Schedule Next Year

Daniel Rohr, Contributor

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Towards the end of the 2018 school year at San Rafael High School, a proposed schedule change from the district fell through. However, life at SR could be much different if the proposal was approved. The schedule would have resembled Terra Linda’s; Mondays would be traditional days until 3:00, Tuesdays and Thursdays would be “A” days until 3:35, and Wednesdays and Fridays would be “B” days until 2:35.

The bell schedule change was introduced by the district in hopes that San Rafael could have the same schedule as TL’s. One key factor in the idea was that the school was having trouble securing times for after-school tutors, and tutors were not available to work on a rotating schedule. Another component for the potential switch was for teacher and student convenience. One common struggle among all teachers was that it was difficult to make personal appointments for the future, due to them not knowing what time they would get out on a certain day.

History teacher Mr. Allen stated, “I like our current schedule”, later adding that it allows a decent amount of time for projects and other major assignments.He felt like one class that lasted an hour and a half was far more productive than two one-hour sessions.

Mr. Winton also said that he is satisfied with the current schedule. However, he saw some positives in TL’s schedule. “I see the benefit in changing (the bell schedule) for my personal life.” But as a teacher, he felt it took valuable time for rest between classes.

The head of the language department, Mrs. Crome, an avid supporter of the switch, said that the new schedule would be extremely beneficial for language due to the consistency and repetition. Another element that she likes about a traditional bell schedule is that she could “see the students for the same amount of time each week,” adding that equal time for classes would “better allow teachers to give tests and plan their schedules by the week.”

Music teacher Sean Castle passionately spoke about the matter. He said, “I hate (the current bell schedule). Classes are too long, and the difference in class time per week among students can be very confusing.” He later went on to add that with music especially, repetition is key. Switching to TL’s bell schedule would be beneficial for the entire music program.

Mr. Dennis offered helpful insight on the matter. He said the idea originally came from the district, wanting SR to have parallel schedules with our rival neighbors. He expressed his distaste for the switch, “I don’t like the traditional day (which would be Monday) because there is too much transition for both the teachers and students.” However, he did say that if the majority of his staff were for the switch, he would most likely give his approval to the district.

At TL, students have very mixed reviews about the bell schedule system. With a constant schedule, students can get accustomed to their weekly schedule, unlike at San Rafael High.

Jasper Pedersen, a junior at Terra Linda stated that, “I think the schedule is okay, there are definitely ups and downs to there being long days twice a week”. He later told me about the struggles of being a student-athlete with a constant schedule. “Most of my soccer games are on tuesdays or thursdays, that’s just how the schedule works. So it’s hard to constantly make up classes, especially because tutorial is only two times a week.”

Matthew Young, a fellow junior at TL, seemed oddly proud of his schedule. “It is so much better than SR’s schedule, because TL is better than SR as a whole.” He went on to state that it is nice to have a constant schedule because of its consistency. “If I need to make an appointment or I have basketball practice, I can schedule things knowing what time I get out of every day.”

Will SR’s schedule ever change? Most likely yes, and soon.

A most recent poll during a conference stated that out of 66 staff members at SRHS, 49 of them teachers and 17 support staff, 54 of them supported a schedule change- a resounding majority. This would give the district a green light to switch San Rafael’s bell schedule to that of Terra Linda’s.                                       

Mr. Dennis did see a positive educational connotation to the potential change. If the schedule were to follow TL’s, that might expand positions for tutors, allow SR to share teachers with Terra Linda, and even hold College of Marin courses.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “SRHS May Change Bell Schedule Next Year”

  1. Judy Colton on December 6th, 2018 5:56 pm

    I am a retired principal from SRHS. To say the least, Off the Leash is very impressive! I was principal from 1999-2010 and was present when SR launched many of the current programs., academies and the current bell schedule. I love hearing about new innovative ideas and this online paper is great!

    Congratulations to you and your supporting teachers. Give my best to Mrs. Thurston and Mr. Temple who are always on the cutting edge of innovation. They along with so many other great teachers have paved the way for students at SRHS to continue to explore and create innovative programs and opportunities.

    Wishing you all happy holidays.

    Go DAWGS!

  2. Simmons on December 12th, 2018 1:45 pm

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Ms. Colton!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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