Why the new schedules?

Before this year, each school day had the same fixed beginning and end. At 7:17 AM the morning bell rang and students had eight minutes to get to their first period of the day. Each period lasted fifty minutes, passing periods were six minutes long and the bell dismissed at 2:25 in the afternoon. Now, the week begins at 7:15 Monday morning. Five minutes are given to students for reporting to from class to class until the day ends at 1:58. However, this schedule only occurs on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have a different system. The morning bell still rings at 7:15, allowing students five minutes to report to first period as well as every other class, but the period of Panther Den. This period lasts from 9:08 to 9:33, and then the “regular” schedule resumes once again with the adjusted times until the day ends at 2:30.

“The shortened passing periods are to help decrease the possibility of issues in the hallway,” principal Dr. Brian Greeney said. “Because students now have less time to get to class, fewer incidents of loitering will occur. There will be fewer traffic jams caused by those who feel the need to group up and congregate in the middle of the crowded hallway due to the possibility of a tardy.”

“The shorter passing periods are helping me get to class faster,” junior Kimberley Gonzalez said. “I’ve found shorter ways to get to class, which has also helped me get to know the layout of the school more.”
As for the early releases on Monday and Wednesday, this adjustment is for both students and teachers. By ending the day half an hour earlier, teachers have more time to collaborate with their departments. The early releases also benefit the students.

“By getting home early, I’m able to get done with my homework much earlier,” senior Desiree Jones said. “So if you have homework, college applications, projects you have a little more time to get it done now.”
But teachers are not the only ones the school had in mind when considering the benefits of new schedules. The addition of Panther Den to the school day is intended to help eliminate before- and after-school tutoring sessions. By doing so, it is now possible for those students who are struggling in certain subjects but have personal issues, such as familial obligations or a job, that prevent them from going to the sessions to seek the academic help they need during a time that is built into the school day.

“I believe that Panther Den will have a beneficial effect on students,” junior Jennifer Lee said. “It will give us more free time to do work and more time with the teachers to do work and to seek the help we need. It’s going to be good for everyone here.”