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Is the current bell schedule effective?

Loyola High School has made truly remarkable efforts to bring back physical schooling that was, to many students, only a distant and nostalgic memory. One of the most notable changes – besides the awkward, yet interesting shrill “old-school” ring, a stark contrast to the smooth bells in the past – is the change in the school schedule, which must be changed. Loyola High School should institute a new schedule that allows every class to meet four times a week, shortens class periods, and alters the scheduled thirty-minute academic times after school. 

During online learning, students lacked the physical interactions they would have experienced in school. Therefore, the new schedule should include more classes per week.

Head of Modern and Classical Languages, Cedric Ebiner, said,  “Something to add to the schedule would be meeting my students four times a week. The less we meet, the less we know each other. Because Cura Personalis is so important, meeting four times a week, which fosters relationships, should be an absolute priority.”

If Loyola is to add classes in a week, classes must overall be shorter and some time from lunch must be sacrificed. Shortening the length of classes addresses the problem of student fatigue in physical school. For the past year and a half of enduring through the unexciting environment of online learning, hours of staring at expressionless faces in “ perfectly symmetric” Zoom boxes without physical interactions, Loyola students are not ready to productively go through the entire school day – they simply don’t have the energy. This is precisely why shorter class times will be beneficial.

English teacher Jason Schmidt said,  “Although I like the new bell schedule because it is more consistent, I still think that 65 minutes gets too close to students tuning out.” 

Junior Sam Rogers said, “Shortened class periods is a great idea since it allows for a more relaxed school schedule and overall will give me more energy throughout the day.”

Although more classes in an entire week may seem more draining, students will be more productive because they will meet with more of their teachers and classmates every day instead of sitting through the same classes for longer periods of time.

Loyola has also scheduled an academic time which is thirty minutes after school from Monday through Thursday and to be used as office hours. However, Loyola should not make a blanket time for all teachers to organize office hours; rather, office hours should be more individualized for teachers,

Ebiner says, “I wish every teacher would be given the ability to choose the best time for office hours for them. I am a morning person, so I could give office hours in the morning instead of the afternoon.” 

Loyola’s new bell schedule is a change in the right direction; however, it does not solve the problems of lack of interaction between teachers and students and student fatigue and, therefore, must be revised once more – along with the atrocious new bell.


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