SPASH and the Schedule

Does SPASH’s schedule need a new coat of paint?


An example of an alternated schedule that could fit a majority of classes at SPASH.

Juno Ehlenfeldt, Hour 5B

Every year I hear students around me brag about the lack of sleep they get as they adjust to the new school year. I’ve always wondered why this happens, but never really paid attention to it, even chiming in with my own two cents sometimes. However, over the years, I’ve noticed in those conversations that they always end up moving to the idea of having school start much later, usually 8 am instead of 7:30 am, which got me thinking about how the schedule could potentially change to fit what alot of students (and even some teachers) have talked about.

When discussing this idea with Mrs. Sweet, a teacher here at SPASH, she brought up the idea of changing the lengths of the days to be overall shorter, but have longer periods, which is a reflection of a schedule she worked with at Holt Highschool in Michigan before she came to SPASH. Another teacher, Ms. White, also brought up the idea of having less overall days and later starting times, a sentiment that seemed to be almost universal among the people I talked to, including the assistant principal, Ms. Melville. She’s currently in charge of scheduling at SPASH, and her idea reflected both Ms. White’s and Mrs. Sweet’s, being starting later and extending the periods so that core classes got more time to talk about what they need to. Although, she also states that, “Students who use it would’ve used it anyways, students who need it probably don’t use it enough,” when asked about how she thinks a change like this would affect students. Mallory, a student that I interviewed, agrees that starting later and having longer class periods would help with grades. She also said, “They probably feel burdened with the amount of homework they get,” when questioned about how she thinks students feel with their current work.

If this change were to occur, Ms. Melville said it would have to be slowly rolled out so students would have time to adjust to it. “Change is generally hard…” she stated, “And would take time to adjust to it well,” going on to explain that any change they were to suggest would have to go through both the Junior Highs, and then the School board. Mallory agrees, saying that, “It would also be hard for students to adjust to, even if they liked it.” They both pointed out that the altered schedule of covid ended up being a hassle for most of the students to adjust to due to having in person classes, e-learning classes, and other covid related stresses. However, I believe forming the schedule around student’s and teacher’s opinions would give them an easier time deciding what classes they would like to take and how they spend their time in said classes respectively. 

Some students see classes as a boring slog without much purpose, letting the information go in one ear and out the other. A longer class could make this issue worse. On top of that, the extra stress that could be presented from having to adjust to the schedule might not be worth it for most students. And, giving a later start would encourage students to stay up later than usual.

A change has been over the horizon regardless of anyone’s current opinions. With the addition of advisory days, and e-learning, it’s clear that people have been pushing for a shorter overall day. We can see it more and more as news sites push out articles detailing their ideas to “Fix,” the school day schedule, and we can see it as students take classes in the morning such as Junior / Senior Release so they can sleep in. The idea is nothing new, it’s just hard to suggest and implement, having to go through hoops upon hoops just to see the light of day. As someone who is a very deep sleeper, a shift in time would be beneficial, letting me take more time to wake up properly and not miss any school. The students need their sleep, the teachers need their time, and school needs to be beneficial to everyone.