Two minutes, too much: South student reacts to new passing time

Sarah Stevenson '19, Web Editor

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120 seconds. It doesn’t seem like much, until you’re practically running through the hallways to get to your next class on time.

Last year as I found out the passing time was being changed from seven to five minutes, I didn’t think it would be an issue, considering I seemed to have more than enough time to travel to and from each of my classes, stop at my locker, and even talk to my friends with seven minutes. However, I quickly realized that this new bell schedule would be more challenging than I expected.

The first day of school was just the beginning of the storm that would come.

I headed to my first hour located on the second floor of the main building, excited to see some friends and for the year that was ahead. 50 minutes later, the bell rang and everyone rushed out of the doorway, headed to the next class. I decided I would stop at my locker, also located on the second floor, but I soon realized that was a mistake.

Halfway across bridge to the IA building, the double-ding of the one minute bell echoed throughout the school, and I ultimately accepted that I would not be on time to my class. The class was unfortunately located on the third floor of the IA building. 50 minutes later, and another five minute bell rang.

I had mentally prepared the path I would take to arrive at my third hour located on the first floor of the S building; IA building stairwell, locker, an S building stairwell, then the class. Halfway to the class, and I hear the sound of another one minute bell. Shocked that I would be late to another hour, I began to pick up the pace, but also remembered to not run in the hallways since it’s forbidden.

As I swiftly walked through the halls, even adding in a small jog every now and then, I began to feel like a lost freshman, scrambling to get to class on time.

I arrived to class about 20 seconds late, and I have yet to be in my seat when the bell rings at the beginning of third hour.

As a student that has been tardy to a class less than a handful of times, it’s frustrating that I was late to two of my classes almost every day during the first week of school. The reason being is because I stopped at my locker; I’ve now learned there’s no time for that anymore.

I’m now unable to stop at my locker after every class, a luxury I took for granted last year. Now, I pack my bag for every two classes, quickly walk through the crowded hallways, and stare blankly at the mass amount of students filling the IA building stairwell, looking as clogged as a toilet.

In addition, this new bell schedule is not only affecting the beginning of class, but the entire class period.

Since students are unable to use the restroom or get a drink of water during the passing time, they’re resorting to leaving during the class period to do the things that they didn’t have enough time for before the class begins. Overall, it’s disrupting the class, and ultimately hurting the students.

Although this five minute passing time is unreasonable, I believe there are some solutions to resolve the overwhelming amount of late students.

If administration decides to continue with this shortened passing time, teachers should be told to mark attendance two minutes after the bell rings. This would decrease the amount of stress that comes with the short five minutes, and also allow both staff and students to have the same abilities we’ve had in the years prior.

Another resolution is to add one more minute to the passing time, changing it from the unrealistic five minutes to a practical six minute passing time. Again, this would provide everyone in the school with more flexibility.

Overall, I hope others see the issue surrounding the bell schedule, and decide to take action to resolve some of the problems that have been created as a result.

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