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An upbeat website for a downtown school

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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Change to bell schedule creates diverse opinions around school

The+Midtown+administration+changed+transition+times+between+classes+from+seven+to+eight+minutes%2C+therefore+shortening+lunch+by+five+minutes.
Carys Brightwell
The Midtown administration changed transition times between classes from seven to eight minutes, therefore shortening lunch by five minutes.

Due to concern over inadequate transition time, the Midtown administration has lengthened transition times in between classes from seven to eight minutes and shortened lunch by five minutes. 

Midtown Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman released a statement to the students via Schoology the day before the schedule change was implemented.

“We are making an adjustment to our daily schedule,” Bockman said. “We have 1655 students at this point. That’s more than ever! With the increased number of students, it takes a little longer to move to classes and stop by the restroom if needed. Our C Building stairways are quite crowded. Class change time will be eight minutes instead of seven. Eight minutes will be enough time to travel around the campus to the next class on time.” 

Additionally, the message discussed the change to the lunch period.

“Lunch periods will be adjusted by five minutes, 37 minutes to 32,” Bockman said. “That’s still plenty of time to eat and have a restroom break if needed our nutrition staff are aware of the change and will adjust food preparation and distribution accordingly. We have a manageable lunch participation rate so the time difference will have no impact.”

Assistant Principal Willie Vincent said the extra minute added to transitions will provide a smoother class change during the school day.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Vincent said. “I see that we’re really overcrowded, and having another minute to transition might help students who need to stop and use the restroom, run and say something to a teacher and just have time to get to classes and alleviate some of the pressure.”

Front office worker Peggy Edwards hopes the change will be beneficial to the school.

“Of course, change is not always great for everyone, but we do want this to help and make a difference,” Edwards said. “The extra minute will hopefully aid the flow of traffic and allow for better transitions with movement in the halls.”

Social studies teacher Jason Slaven believes that the administration worked hard to figure out what schedule would work best for students. 

“I’m sure that the administration knew that it would be an unpopular decision to take time away from student and teacher lunches,” Slaven said. “They probably thought a lot about the decision and if they could have taken it from somewhere else, they most likely would have.”

However, some parents found the change to be sudden. Midtown parent Maya Abboushi believes the change was made without context or explanation.

“What that [decision] tells me is that it was a hasty one based on something very acute or specific,” Abboushi said. “We just were not really privy to that, which is why I would want to know the reasons behind it. It’s not like they instituted it at the beginning of the year.”

Sophomore Leor Gutierrez sees potential flaws for students when it comes to the changes in transition times and the shortened lunch period. 

“I think that the new changes to the bell schedule is kind of pointless, to be honest,” Gutierrez said. “They take away five minutes from our lunch, and our lunch is probably the most important time of our day. We need that time, especially for kids who have to stand in line for lunch for 20 minutes.”

Gutierrez feels that the administration’s failure to get student input on this policy change is unfair.

“I think they definitely should have gotten some of the students’ opinions because they [Midtown administration] can’t just make a change and then not ask us about it, too,” Gutierrez said. “They’re taking away our class and they’re taking away our lunchtime, which is valuable time. They definitely should have asked us before just doing something, because now there’s going to be more controversy.”

Junior Tyler Austin believes the changes are unnecessary. 

“I personally don’t agree with it only because considering how long lunch lines are, people who need a school lunch might not have as much time to get one and eat compared to those who bring their own lunches such as myself,” Austin said.

Despite being upset by the lack of communication about this change, senior Ben Ramentein believes the change won’t make as much of a difference.

“A minute extra in the halls is not going to make much difference,” Ramenstein said. “I personally feel like I have enough time to get my classes, and I don’t try to go to the bathroom in between my classes. It just seems kind of stupid to take time out of our lunch for something that is a basic function.”

Slaven believes that the change, although affecting students, will ultimately not have a large impact on teachers. 

“Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to have any negative effects,” Slaven said. “I think that the effects we’ll notice during the day will be negligible because when you really think about it, they’re only shaving five minutes off of each lunch period. So our lunch periods are now 32 minutes long, instead of 37 minutes.”

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About the Contributors
Carys Brightwell, News Associate Managing Editor
Carys Brightwell is a junior and this is her third year writing for The Southerner. She is the secretary for Beta Club and is a part of the Latin Club, SGA, Book Club, Earth Club, First Century Leaders, and JSU. When she's not spending her time writing she's either with her friends, playing the bass, or sewing something new.
Hannah Silver, Lifestyle Associate Managing Editor
Hannah Silver is a junior and this is her third year writing for the Southerner. When she's not spending her time writing, she is doing cheer, is beta club co-vice president, plays violin, is a company member at her dance studio, is a latin club officer, jewish student union leadership member, and enjoys hanging out with her friends.

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