The Bell Schedule Break Down

Kade Janikula (10) and Danica Flood (11) revealing the bell schedule decision next year, the White schedule choice

Kade Janikula (10) and Danica Flood (11) revealing the bell schedule decision next year, the White schedule choice

This year, many have heard of the ongoing bell schedule discussions. Will the beep, beep, beep be heard at 7:45 am or at 7:25 am?  Since early in the school year, with talks beginning in October, KHS resolved to reevaluate the current bell schedule, and discuss new possibilities for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond. A committee was formed of representative students, teachers, coaches, and parents, each reflecting a different demographic of those who would be affected by the bell schedule.  A key aspect throughout the schedule discussions was the consideration of each of these demographics.

Danica Flood, a student representative on the committee stated,

“The committee considered every single group. We did a very thorough, in depth consideration, considering a multitude of perspectives where no stone was unturned”. The group received input from many in order to put forward the most beneficial ideas.

Mrs. Prather, a teacher on the committee, explained that “(we) had a lot of different opportunities for teachers and students and community to give input and design their own bell schedule”. The students of KHS had a voice in this decision, as Danica furthered, “The student body was very well represented in this process, as the administration could not have made this decision without our input; however Kade Janikula and I were asked to advocate for our class and we attended these meetings with our peers in mind”.

Along with input, a large amount of time was spent on  the consideration of possible new bell schedules for next year. “We put many many hours into this endeavor, meeting multiple times per month throughout the whole school year, and spending two whole days debating the different aspects of the schedules”, said Danica. After the months of discussion in the first semester, more steps were taken. “The second semester, January, February, and March, we discussed different options, narrowing it down to what became the blue and white schedule, and then March is when we made our final decision, and then we took two full days discussing all the various aspects of the Blue and the White”. The Blue and White schedules were the two concrete plans brought out by the committee. The Blue Schedule featured a later start, more block days, and built in “specials time” where students could attend extra curricular activities or have a release period.  The White schedule is the one currently in place at KHS. Much consideration went into debating the options. “We thought about all different levels of academics, cte, fine arts, athletics. We really tried to look at all the different groups and how they would be affected by the schedule.” said Mrs. Prather. “Some major aspects we considered were student quality of life, teacher quality of life… special education, extracurriculars, and many others”, added Danica.

The time came for the committee to make a final decision. When discussing the ultimate conclusion, Mrs. Prather offered,“You may not know all the discussions that went into it, but we really took into consideration all of the feedback that we got and we really did not have anything in mind before (the start of discussions). We truly went into the 2 days not knowing which schedule was going to be decided on. We ultimately felt like the White bell schedule was the most beneficial for the most parties.” After the 6 month long process, the White schedule had emerged as the committees selected decision. “I’d like to believe everyone benefits from the schedule we picked. Some of our largest considerations were academics, athletics, fine arts, and extracurriculars, which all will thrive under the white schedule, as they have been” said Danica.

Next year, students at KHS will be attending school under the White schedule, however there will be 8 select Thursdays in which the Blue schedule will be tested. On weeks where Monday is a school holiday, the ensuing Thursday will offer students the opportunity to attend classes like they would under the Blue schedule. This will offer some further discussions to the schedule topic. “The bell schedule conversation will continue, as we have decided to include the ‘Blue Thursdays’ for the 2019-2020 school year. At a smaller degree, we will consider the advantages and disadvantages we observed under both schedules” said Danica.

The decision was made, however the committee knew that whichever side they landed on, KHS would continue its legacy of success. “Our ultimate decision was that at the end of the day, teachers are still gonna teach and they’re still gonna form relationships with students regardless of what the bell schedule is” Mrs. Prather said. “The bell schedule is not the deciding factor of success; the staff and students make Kingwood High School so competitive, and either bell schedule would enable our success, because that’s who we are.” Danica stated. After lengthy brainstorms, discussions, and debates, and with every group at KHS in mind, the Mustangs have a bell schedule for next year, one to be filled with the success and achievement KHS is known for.