New School Schedule earns an F

Students rush to their next class after the short ten-minute break.

Vincent Tsai, Staff Writer

On a Tuesday morning at UHS, students sit in class listening to lecture after lecture, losing all focus. There is a limited break, longer classes and no Office Hours to attend. Some students dislike the new bell schedule for all these reasons and more. This has caused many differences to arise around campus.

A survey was conducted with 82 students varying from freshmen to seniors gathering their opinions on the new bell schedule, with questions specific to block periods and Office Hours and a section for respondents to voice their concerns. One common complaint that has carried on from previous years is that lunch is far too short. 

Longer lunch and snack please,” junior Cadence Diep said. “35 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes for a snack is not enough time to stand in the lunch line, get food and eat.”

Students are at a disadvantage with less time to eat and socialize. Many students will be tired in their classes without being able to eat food. This stops them from being able to focus. Classes are around 90 minutes long, which ends up tiring students more and wasting their time. If students were given more time, it would help re-energize them and get them ready for their next classes.

As usual, the length of block days is a point of contention among students. 

“I would prefer block days to be much shorter, and anything over 85 minutes is way too long,” sophomore Daniel Niktash said.

When students were asked how long they preferred block days to be, 33.6% of students on the survey said they prefer 80 minutes, 23.2% preferred less than 80 minutes, 26.8% preferred 85 minutes, 9.8% preferred 90 minutes, and 3.7% of students preferred more than 90 minutes of class time. According to this information, most students would prefer class times to be 85 minutes or less. Although some prefer 85 minutes or more, Office Hours would be able to accommodate those missed hours. 

However, the new Office Hours schedule has proven to be a complicated issue with students. With tests often falling on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, students do not have access to Office Hours during such test weeks for the help they need from their teachers to prepare for those tests. Also, with pep assemblies and extended lunches being held on Fridays, the special schedules of those days replace the Office Hours periods with the events, thus eliminating even more opportunities for students to receive help. Additionally, with Office Hours directly following second period on Fridays, only the second periods of each course can attend the days’ lectures before Office Hours. Only these students are provided with the lesson information to ask longer or more-in depth questions that may require the time Office Hours offers, while the fourth through eighth periods have to wait six more days for the next Office Hours, a time when many are highly likely to forget or dismiss their questions.

“Personally, I believe that Office Hours are too late in the week, and therefore students don’t get enough time to study and ask questions before completing our tests,” sophomore Dory Meng said.

Having fewer Office Hours can also affect some students’ study schedules. With fewer hours, these students have to adjust and struggle with the sudden change. From a survey conducted with 82 students about satisfaction regarding the new bell schedule, 67.9% of students dislike the new schedule, 9.9% of students like the new schedule, and 22.2% neither like nor dislike it. 

The new bell schedule for this year doesn’t give students the proper amount of time to study or get help from teachers,” sophomore Tanya Kannan said. “It’s overwhelming for both the students and teachers to successfully learn and teach while maintaining sports, extracurriculars, friends and clubs.”

Students’ extracurricular activities that they have after school can often end late at night, and now with competition increasing to get into top schools, students tend to enroll in more extracurriculars to put on their applications. The lack of Office Hours prevents students from being able to complete homework before school ends. This leaves a larger workload and less time for sleep. According to the World Health Organization, depression, impaired concentration and loss of energy and motivation are possible results of sleep deprivation. Similarly, people with depression tend to have restless sleep and struggle with insomnia, causing an endless cycle that can heavily impact students.

However, some students think that the schedule is fine. 

“I don’t dislike the new schedule, I don’t get why everyone’s so pressed about it either,” junior Asuka Feldman said.

Ultimately, the number of students impacted by the new schedule outweighs those that are not impacted. Students that liked the new schedule did not provide strongly opinionated comments or quotes. On the other hand, students that disliked the new schedule heavily provided comments or quotes and were more willing to express their thoughts to make the issue known. If students feel strongly that the schedule should be changed, they need to call attention to it now.