Students, teachers have mixed reactions about the new schedule

Brandon Teeny, Staff Reporter

In addition to transitioning from laid back summers back to a strict schedule, students and teachers around the Seattle School District have also had to adjust to a new schedule.

Despite the PTSA fighting against the later start times, there are more differences in this year’s schedule compared to those of previous years. This year, school ends at 3:35 p.m., 20 minutes later than the previous year, making classes 85 minutes long.

Another change is students are released 75 minutes early every Wednesday so that teachers can work on professional development. Some students and staff welcomed the change, while others have mixed opinions.

“The first couple weeks have been tough for me,” said Humanities teacher Andy Coughran. “They’ve been tough for students, but I feel like the time is needed.”

Coughran noted that students seem to be more restless near the end of the school day.

The longer days were put in place to supplement the early-release Wednesdays, but those early releases have thrown Cleveland’s school schedule upside down. Instead of having Anchor Day on Monday, where students went to all eight classes for 40-minutes with one lunch and no advisory, Anchor Day moved to Wednesday and classes are now 30 minutes long with two lunches and a 20-minute advisory.

Although many students like getting out early, some students think that the early release adds more confusion to their schedule. Sophomore Valeria Russo is unhappy about this change.

“It’s annoying to have to remember that on Wednesdays you have to go to all your classes,” Russo said.

Teachers, on the other hand, find the extra time helpful. Coughran likes the early release because the extra time is used for the academic departments to meet with each other for planning lessons.

“Teachers use all the prep time that we can get,” Coughran said. “The meetings are very, very helpful.”

Teachers use the meeting time to call parents of struggling students and to prepare curriculum for the coming classes and do other things to improve students’ education at Cleveland. But while the new schedule may lend itself to helping students succeed academically, the later start time has become a thorn in the side for athletes.

Game start times have been pushed back and some teams are forced to practice before school. For example, volleyball practices from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Junior varsity games start at 4:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., and both swim and golf begin morning practices at 7 a.m.

As a result, student athletes may get less sleep, fall behind on homework or miss work because of the later start.

The fact that practices end later is a big deal to athletes whose practice and game schedule already eats into spending time with family or friends. Senior Monique Bungay, a captain on the volleyball team and a basketball player said her teams are missing out on valuable social time.

“We don’t have much time at home for ourselves.”