Bell Schedule Chaos?


Photo by Jake Lindo.

Students gather in the cafeteria on August 10, 2016.

Each year, the school routine students have adjusted to seems to get drastically changed. Already this year, students and administration have had to adjust to a new bell schedule which is more complex than last year’s. Instead of starting around 8:50 am, the bell to go to class now rings at 8:40 am. This change appears to have disturbed some students. “On the days that I have swim practice I can no longer get to school on time,” said Caylyn McNaul ‘18.

With the loss of last year’s  “Fluco Tutorial,” a 25-minute period before school where students could get tutored or make up tests, many students claim to be confused and even upset. “When you need help on the homework from the previous night, you can’t go get help anymore. It appears to the teacher that you just didn’t do the homework, when that is not the case,” said Michelle Hammond ‘18. “I’ve been late to my class because I didn’t understand how this new schedule works. So many of my teachers are confused by it too. I just wish we had our Fluco Tutorial time still,” said Morgan Maupin ‘18.

The early morning Fluco Tutorial has been replaced by “Fluco Focus,” a daily mini-block that takes place for 20 minutes between 2nd and 3rd block. This new mini-block is designed to give all students, not just those who specifically need it, the opportunity to receive tutoring in a specific class one day of every week, as well as a time for clubs twice a month. Each day, students attend a different class during Fluco Focus. On Mondays, they visit Homeroom, Tuesday provides additional time in 1st block, Wednesday in 2nd, Thursday in 3rd, and Friday in 4th. Some students like the fact that Fluco Focus is mandatory. “I actually don’t mind the change. I think it will be better for [Fluco Focus] to be a requirement instead of a choice,” said Conner Dobbins ‘18.

Another concern with the new schedule is how it has affected students’ morning routines. Many students rely on the school breakfast to give them the boost they need to start the day, and last year, they were given a comfortable amount of time between the arrival of the buses and the start of 1st block to enjoy breakfast at school. However, with the new schedule, students say they have minimal time to devour their food. In addition, some students find they have to wake up earlier and have no time to socialize or to visit the locker room before school. “It’s already so hard to wake up in the morning, and now we have to be at school even earlier,” said Mya Wright ‘20. Some are finding it necessary to set their alarms back even earlier just to avoid receiving tardies. 

Athletes are also affected by this change. Many find it imperative to pay a daily visit to the locker room before school so they can drop off their bags for practice instead of lugging them around all day. “It was hard enough last year. You couldn’t do anything without a pass. Now you have no time to go to the locker room. I have to carry around my stuff all day,” said Camryn Frederick ‘18. Other students work out during mornings in the gym and the weight room, and need to take a shower afterwards. But without that extra time in the morning, many find it hard to accomplish their routines without breaking into a mad-dash.

Finally, some students say the new bell schedule makes it difficult to keep up with their friends. Some pupils do not have classes with their friends, and without that time to touch base in the mornings, they say they find it challenging to keep up with friendships. “I don’t have any time to talk to my friends anymore. It’s hard,” said Josh Carlton ‘17.

Still, other Flucos are facing these challenges with a positive outlook, and are trying to embrace this new year and put their best foot forward. “I think that overall [the new schedule] will help when it comes to absences. It will be easier to make up tests and quizzes. It will really push kids to ask for extra help in the time that is given,” said Ema Graham ‘17.