After debates, new bell schedule ends school at 4:45

Jaclyn Kellner, Deputy Editor

An altered version of sophomore Daniel Schwartz’s new bell schedule took effect Monday, Dec. 13, dismissing school at 4:45 p.m. instead of 5 for the first time in Shalhevet history. The news was met with disdain by some students but celebrated by others.

The schedule shortens the school day Monday through Thursday and legthens it by 10 minutes on Friday. It resulted from Town Hall discussions, parent, student and staff voting, input from administration and consultation with Shalhevet’s part-time teachers.

Daniel Shwartz’s schedule would have ended school Monday through Thursday at 4:30, not 4:45, but this was changed to lengthen class periods.

“I feel mixed emotions,” said Daniel. “I am very appreciative that the administration was willing to pass some sort of schedule that would help the student body at Shalhevet. It is unfortunate that we can’t end at 4:30 and it’s unfortunate that my original couldn’t be implemented as it was.”

Still, the change was greeted with cheers from most students and faculty.

“I do believe that the current schedule offers much more flexibility,” said Judaic Studies teacher Rabbi Feinerman. “It gives students the option of club meetings, meeting with teachers, and making up tests.”

Sophomore Daniella Mor agreed.

“This schedule is better because we have one less class a day and Town Hall is on Thursday adn we end earlier,” she said.

Class time is now back to the 47-minute length of previous years and up from teh 45-minute sessions of the first-ever nine-period day that greeted students in August. Once again there are eight periods a day, and the class that’s missed is made up on Fridays.

Apart from the number of classes in the day, the biggest change in the new schedule is the lengthening of lunch from 40 to 51 or 43 minutes. The shorter lunch at the begining of the year was, along with having nine periods a say, the biggest complaint. Students and faculty felt that there wasn’t enough time for meetings, eating and make up exams.

“In 40 minutes, which turns into 30 minutes because of the time it takes for people to get lunch, we can’t achieve as much during meetings,” AIPAC chair Lauren Mohabber said.

In the new schedule, Town Hall is returned to its traditional Thursday meeting time of years past, and Ma’agal Haskshava  (Advisory) still meets on Friday mornings but is combined with breakfast and shortened to 40 minutes from 60.

In the original schedule this year, Fridays contained Town Hall, a 50-minute Advisory, and just three classes, set in a rotation so every class met on a fifth day every three weeks.

Now, five classes meet on Fridays and dismissal (early because of Shabbat) is at 1:55 instead of 1:45 pm.

Shacharit, breakfast and Mincha are all slightly longer in the new schedule, with Shacharit and breakfast combined at 52 minutes instead of 50, and Mincha at 20 minutes, instead of 19.

To accommodate part-time teachers who have outside commitments, the order in which classes take a day off is not as systematic as it was in previous years.  In the new schedule, Period 5 misses Monday, Period 4 misses Tuesday, Period 7 misses Wednesday, and periods 2 and 6 do miss Thursday.

Periods 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 meet on Friday.

New schedule options were proposed at Town Hall because of widespread unhappiness with the first-ever nine-period schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the year. Aside from having nine classes instead of eight per day, students and teachers didn’t like its shorter lunch and class periods.

Times for extra-curriculars and APs have not been changed, although some after-school activities are now starting at 5 instead of 5:15.