New Schedule Changes Beneficial to Students

Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto, Editor-in-Chief

   New school year, new classes, new teachers, and… new schedule? Indeed, this first year of near-normalcy post-pandemic has seen two notable modifications to the everyday agenda: lunch an hour earlier than previous years, and an earlier departure on Mondays rather than a later start on Wednesdays. Are these changes truly benefiting students? Although many view the new schedule as an inconvenience, the benefits from these alterations make becoming accustomed to the disruptions worth it.

   According to Associate Principal Alex Villalobos, the decision to move lunch from 1 p.m. (after fourth period) to 11:57 a.m. (after third period) came from realizing the amount of students who don’t eat breakfast, whether voluntarily or not. With 40 percent of the school’s students not living in the area, it’s easy to see how many are unable to eat before school, especially in the case of those who ride public transportation. Math Teacher Ana Kuborovich feels good about the long-term effects of these adjustments.

   “For health purposes, we should eat more often in smaller portions,” she said, supporting the idea of a lunch that shortens the time between breakfast and the following meal. Junior Bianca Najera said, “Whether [the early lunch] is good or bad, everyone has an opinion on it.” Though Najera remains conflicted regarding the change, she appreciates how she’s “not as hungry as before.” With early out Mondays, Kuborovich values how “you wake up, have school, and then you have more time and daylight, especially when the winter hours start.”

   Villalobos explained that the switch from the weekly later start to an earlier departure seeks to make the teacher meetings taking place on these days more convenient. Also, starting school at the same time each day means less attendance headaches when dealing with transportation and tardies.

   Because Community College classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and buses were unavailable for earlier pickup on Wednesdays, Monday became the chosen day by a process of elimination. Basically, the idea of early-out Fridays seemed to be a recipe for disaster. Would students just take a three-day weekend all the time? Would teachers show up to meetings? Clearly, much thought went into considering all involved factors.

   Senior Jasmine Salata appreciates how, thanks to early out, “…most of us will have more time to get our responsibilities done after school.” This includes extracurriculars, many of which have struggled to adapt to the later school start and end time. Last year, these activities pushed back (and, to some extent, reduced) the time students had for studying. Now, many Mondays will be the exception to this rule.

   There are a handful of valid arguments against both of these schedule alterations. With around only a third of Mondays having the early out schedule, worries about this causing confusion throughout the year are understandable. Additionally, many students agree that attending most of their classes before lunch allowed for the day to go by much faster. Now, with only half of the periods done before the break, days feel like they drag on. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of perspective and weighing the positive and negative to see what’s heaviest. Even those who are adamant about certain changes, like Salata, make an important point: “What’s best for me isn’t going to be best for others. I see it’s difficult to please a whole school.”

   Perhaps our schedule was just fine before, and we will soon be seeing a return to our previous normal. One thing to note, however, is just how commonly our opinions are altered with every passing school year, as new initiatives are implemented and controversial decisions made. To ask for “what it used to be like” is to forget there is no such thing. Next year, we will be having this same conversation, the details being different but the initial hesitancy remaining. For now, we will be just fine, as the overall, long-term improvements to be seen on campus are worth what may now seem as small sacrifices.