New Bell Schedule

How is the new bell schedule affecting Canyon students?

This school year, a pretty big change took place at Canyon High School.  A change in our bell schedule was inserted into our daily lives, making our starting time about an hour later, as well as our leaving time.  Many students see this as a positive change, considering they now don’t have to wake up as early as they did in recent years. Others see it as a negative, because it impedes on the later hours of their days, since they’ll still be in school later than they were previously.  The new schedule was created in order to give students a chance to get more sleep in hopes to improve productivity and creativity.  Now that the extra hour has been given to us, has that been the case?

Studies have shown that getting a sufficient amount of sleep can decrease an adolescent’s chances of becoming overweight or developing depression.  It’s also been shown that with enough sleep comes a new sense of productivity in the brain that can help improve students’ grades, better their test scores, and further motivate them to be present at school. The later start time for zero period, that’s set at 8:30am, can help implement all of these positive factors into the students of Canyon’s lives.

After talking to many Canyon students about their feelings on the new bell schedule, I heard a lot of positive feedback regarding the topic. “I personally prefer the new bell schedule, because it allows me to have more energy to actually be more attentive in classes all the way to the end of the school day. It also allows other people to be able to take zero period and not dread it as much, since it’s now starting way later than last year. The later time may give them room to take more academic classes since they have more room in their schedules.” Aside from this student’s words, I got many other positive responses, like “I like that I get to sleep in longer” or “I don’t have to go to bed as early.”

Most high schoolers don’t particularly love waking up early, or being in school later in the day. Being in school until late hours eliminates many opportunities to participate in after school activities. It also knocks out valuable time that could be used to do homework.  For people with sports after school, the schedule change could be even more negatively impactful on them, because sports just keep them from home longer.                     

Despite the many positive comments I received after interviewing students about the schedule change, there were also some negative things said. “I like the new start time, but I don’t like getting out so late. It pushes my whole day back so I don’t have as much time for after school activities.” Another student stated, “I feel like the later start time didn’t really benefit a lot of students, because it just gave them an excuse to go to sleep later than before. They’re still getting the same amount of sleep, it’s just the going to sleep and waking up times are different.”

Clearly, the new bell schedule is a pretty conflicting topic.  Many people have varying opinions on the time differences regarding when we start school and when we leave school.  Are the new school hours really making students more motivated? More driven? Or is it just the same as our previous schedule, except we have an extra hour to stay awake? These are all questions that can only be answered with time to see how the bell schedule affects Canyon students over the course of a certain time period. It will eventually be made clear if this change was actually positive or negative.