School to Start Later
By Juliet Aguilera
A later start and a new bell schedule are in the plans for the next school year at Novato High. The main reasons are for students and teachers to be able to get more sleep and have a better attention span throughout the school day. Many schedules have been reviewed in hopes of accommodating everyone that will be involved with this new change.
According to Ivan Chaidez, the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services of NUSD, after a long battle, the new schedule recommendation for first and second period have been set for the next school year.
“The recommendation is high school first period at 8 a.m. and second period at 9 a.m.,” Chaidez wrote in an email. “The school staff and administration will be creating the schedule that is best for students. This will be done at the school site and negotiated by the teacher union if needed.”
Kathryn Korff, an english teacher at Novato High, is on the Later Start Committee and proposed a new schedule for next year. Korff explained the reason behind the plan for the new schedule times.
“A committee started at the district office to look at starting the school later. That was actually based on doctors coming and speaking to the principal, the district offices, and school boards,” said Korff. “Studies show that students need to sleep longer at that age. It's now possible to start this early. It's not good for their health and school needs to adjust the start time.”
Sara Herrera, a sophomore at Novato High, agrees with the later schedule. She thinks that more sleep would be more efficient for teachers.
“I do think we should have a later start,” said Herrera. “It would be easier for teachers and easier on us. If we have block schedules, we won’t have all our classes every day.”
Christina Corsetti, an english teacher at Novato High, is on the Later Start Committee and described what will happen with sports, now that school will get out later.
“With school ending later, we were trying to look for a reasonable option,” said Corsetti. “So creating a modified block schedule, a four-day block system where you would not have seventh period classes all in a day so we can accommodate and end at a reasonable time.
Some students disagree with the later schedule. Junior Dana Dalrymple believes that starting school later is not the solution to fixing the problem of students lack of sleep.
“I don’t really agree with a later-start schedule due to the fact that it would imply a later start and school ending later. I won't have enough time to keep up with homework, my job, sports, and other extracurriculars,” said Dalrymple. “They claim that the late-start schedule is to get more sleep, but I assure you that I will still wake up at the same time in the morning due to homework.”
The later start time and new bell schedules are a way of ensuring that students receive the best education they can get. The later timing for first period and second period have been set for the next school year. The idea of a later start and new schedule has required some additional support from the district, but some students might not embrace this new change. The later start and new schedule committee hope to have the new schedule set by the end of of May.