Start Times and Bell Schedules

Norma Fruzynski (Junior), Sean Gaines (Freshman)

Throughout the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year, Obama has gone through many changes. One of the more impactful changes was the adjustment of the current bell schedule and start times. 

Obama Academy’s schedule has been somewhat of a controversial topic amongst teachers, students, and staff. The increase from 5 to 10 minutes in time during homeroom and shortened amount of Quality Resource Time (QRT) has had its effects on all parties involved. The Eagle Times decided to get input from some staff and faculty members in the building to gauge the general opinion among those who were mostly affected.

To start off, we chose to interview one of our security guards in hopes to gather their opinion on whether the start times have affected line efficiency, hall wandering, or misbehavior. 

When asked how the new-ish 10 minutes in homeroom affects line efficiency, they said that the security team and teachers are still adjusting. Saying that although there is a slight improvement in efficiency, the big clusters of people who come from buses are still clogging the line in the morning. 

One of the biggest helps, according to them, is opening the doors around 6:55 to get the line moving as quickly as possible. 

Next, we asked them how this new change has affected them personally in terms of their schedule. They remarked that their schedule has been mostly consistent since last year. 

Lastly, we asked about the misbehavior and hall wandering and whether the decision to make homeroom longer has increased those things in any way. In response, they said while behavior issues aren’t completely solved, there is much less of it than existed last year.

Another point of view we seeked to offer perspective into this topic was provided by Ms. Waechter. Ms. Waechter is not only a volunteer for helping the morning rush and confirming phone packages, but she is also a teacher that instructs a second (formally known as first) period Civics class. 

When asked about how the new start time affects line efficiency, Ms. Waechter noted that she has seen great improvement in how smoothly the line flows and has observed that many more kids have avoided tardiness for her second period class. 

We also asked about the schedule change’s impact on her personal schedule. When responding to this question, she touched heavily on the ability to transition from being a line helper to a period two teacher. 

She explained the new process using phrases like “much easier” and mentioning that it was “very difficult” before the bell schedule was changed, giving much more time for students and teachers to be prepared for second period. 

The last question we asked Ms. Waechter was about how the new bell schedule has affected the time available for supporting students during QRT. Ms. Waechter commented that the 10 minute period is not a long enough period of time to help students with work or catch them up on missing or late work. 

She also said that she wished QRT was a little bit longer considering it being the end of the day and believing that a lot of kids would benefit from extra time to work.

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