New bell schedule puts end to late-start Wednesdays


The bell schedule after the adjustment. Photo from: BHHS Website/Email from Administration

Ruby Matenko, Staff Writer

Before March 8, Beverly’s Wednesday schedule started at 9:20 A.M., as opposed to regular start at 8:30 A.M. The old schedule provided teachers with time for professional development, and students a break from waking up as early as usual. However, co-principals Kim Decatrel and Drew Stewart sent out an email informing everyone of a bell schedule adjustment that eliminates the late start.

The email read, “Starting next week we will be moving to a slightly adjusted bell schedule for the remainder of the year.”

Wednesday’s schedule changed from a 9:20 A.M. start to an 8:30 A.M. start. Class time increased by 10 minutes per period. Sixth period now ends at 2:39 P.M., and seventh period ends at 3:34 P.M.

“[The new schedule is] going to allow us to have more face time for teachers with their students; they’ve been asking for that,” Assistant Principal Mrs. Samantha Jung said. “It’s going to be a consistent start time, every single day now.”

In the email sent out on March 8, admin explained that a schedule change will help with Beverly’s goal of “Educational Excellence,” our district’s mission. This schedule change was made in the middle of the school year, mainly because Beverly needs to be kept in alignment with state requirements for the amount of time students must spend at school.

“We wanted to address that as soon as we could,” Mrs. Jung said.

History teacher Mrs. Joanie Garratt gave her opinion on the bell schedule adjustment. 

“We (the staff) have wanted to get rid of [the late start] for so long, so the teachers are very happy that it’s gone,” she said. “I personally believe that the more time [we have] with students, the better off we are. I don’t have enough time with the new schedule, and I’m talking about [the] block [schedule]. We meet with the students for three hours and thirty-eight minutes [a week]. We used to meet for approximately five hours. I’m having trouble in my AP class getting through the curriculum.”

Student opinions on this schedule change may be harsher.

“They’re (admin) doing away with [the old schedule] because someone messed up and for two years, we didn’t have the right amount of school,” sophomore Loretta Jensen said. “I feel like it’s kind of stupid. The students are being punished for some mistake that someone else made.”

Since this is only taking place at Beverly, and not the rest of the BHUSD schools, It will be difficult to adjust to this new schedule after students have been used to having this extra time on Wednesday mornings.

“It’s going to be a lot harder on Wednesdays because my sister goes to the middle school, so there’s a bigger change in drop-off times,” Jensen said.

However, no exemptions will be offered to families who have scheduling conflicts on Wednesday mornings. The email stated the new start time is a requirement for all students.

“We chose the option that had only one day of change,” Jung said, “so that we would have minimal disruption on families and students. And it’s going to be a little bit harder because a lot of people like the late start on Wednesdays, especially students.”

Beverly had to make this change in the schedule in order to catch up to state requirements. However, students have spoken about feeling disrupted.

“I don’t like it at all,” sophomore Sadaf Bakhtiari said. “I think [late start] is an opportunity for us high schoolers to get enough sleep.”

The CDC says the combination of late bedtimes and early school start times results in most adolescents not getting enough sleep. Sleep Foundation goes on to say that 73% of high schoolers do not get the recommended amount of sleep on school nights.

“[The] 9:20 start would give us more time to catch up,” Bakhtiari said.

The schedule, however, isn’t set in stone for next year. Admin is trying to find a principal for the next school year, who will most likely help with that decision.

The email from the co-principals read, “As we finalize our principal selection, we will review the changes with them and create the best possible bell schedule for the 2023-2024 school year.”