The Need for a New Bell Schedule

Is Change Good?

Petriese Peralta, Reporter

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        Waking up in the morning and realizing there’s school has got to be one of the least exciting experiences in the world. Students at James Campbell High School (JCHS) have to wake up early as they begin to start another academic year. JCHS’s current bell schedule requires students and staff to wake up between approximately 5:00 A.M. and 7:50 A.M. at the latest to be on time for the 8:00 A.M. school day.

        Because of the various factors that prevent people from being on time, JCHS students and staff often find themselves frustrated with the current bell schedule and many thus recommend a new schedule in which school begins at a later time and ends later. “I wouldn’t mind starting school at 9 and having to stay later,” said Junior Tiana Julian.  

        With a modified agenda of 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., those affected by the various time-consuming tasks of morning can better enhance their flexibility with the many variables of a daily school ritual.

Lack of Sleep

        Sleep is a necessity that students and staff tend to lack during school: according to Harvard Medical School, it is unhealthy for teenagers to have under nine hours of sleep. “I usually get three to four hours of sleep on school nights,” said senior Chloe Toribio. With the current bell schedule and lack of parking spaces, students and staff have to start their day before 7:50 A.M. at the latest to be on time. But with other priorities that need to be done the night before, stakeholders also sleep later which contributes to the lack of rest.

Warning sign that was posted on illegally parked cars at the Ewa Beach Community Park near JCHS. Students often resort to parking in public places because school parking lots are usually at their full capacity by 7:15 A.M. Photo by Petriese Peralta.

Road Rage

        With the lack of sleep also comes traffic. Parking lots at JCHS are disproportionate to the overpopulated number of students at school. There are over 3,000 students at JCHS and less than 100 available student parking spots, where the only available spaces are at the Boys and Girls Club parking lot and on the sides of nearby roads. Those traveling to school by car have to wake up even earlier to get a parking spot with traffic as a variable for time. “The parking lot is already full by 7:10 or 7:15,” said senior Cheziree Ashlynn Pascual. Since there are no nearby parking structures available for student and staff use, stakeholders have to deal with other contributing factors, such as construction workers who also need parking. Drivers have to wake up early to find parking as well as time to get ready in the morning.

No, I’m Not Ready Yet!

        Both students and staff that drive have to factor getting ready, traffic, searching for parking, and punctuality into their morning routines. “I probably take around 45 minutes to get ready in the morning, but I know other girls take 2 hours to put on makeup and do their hair,” said senior Jahlyssa Defrancia. According to a recent survey from JCHS students and staff, both male and females take an average of 30 minutes to get ready which includes showering, dressing, cosmetics, eating, etc. It is time consuming having to wake up early in order to have time to get ready for the day and avoid traffic and find a parking spot every school day. Sleep is needed but is still something stakeholders lack and have to compromise in order to fit in other variables.

A Never Ending Wish

        For other students and staff at JCHS, other priorities need to be fulfilled before school starts. But, overall, stakeholders may want more time before the school day begins. Not only will stakeholders have more time to complete morning tasks, but staff can also use this opportunity to have personal time for students. It may be easier for a student to come to school around 8:00 A.M. to receive extra help rather than coming to school at 7:00 A.M. Teachers will have more time to prepare for the school day, and, instead of staying at school late, they can get whatever needs to be done in the morning instead of after school.