Wednesday classes may end at 1:07 p.m. next year

Next year, students may get what they have been asking for all this year — a new bell schedule that includes a much earlier release on Wednesdays.

Students could possibly get out as early as 1:07 p.m. on Wednesdays if teachers and staff approve one of three proposals to change the schedule of classes.

“I like that Wednesdays would be shorter because a lot of people have other things to do outside of school,” said junior Jowaun Jones.

The reason for the change in the bell schedule is that all teachers in the Oakland Unified School District need to be out of school on Wednesdays by at least 1:30 p.m. so that they can get to professional development meetings held by the school district on time. Those meetings start promptly at 2 p.m.

“The history department in Oakland has good meetings so I’m happy to be able to attend,” said history teacher Richard Charlesworth.

Other changes in the proposed bell schedule include an additional five minutes to the lunch hour every day, and a shift in advisory from Tuesdays and Thursdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“Lunch being longer is relieving,” said sophomore Jesus Ayala. “I feel juiced that we get to spend more time with our friends.”

Under all three bell schedule proposals, Mondays and Fridays would stay almost the same as this year with all six periods lasting 60 minutes.

The one difference would be that the five extra minutes that were attached to the first period of the day this year for Second Chance Breakfast will now be attached to lunch.

Tuesdays would consist of periods one through five.  Block periods would be 73 minutes each — six minutes shorter than this year’s block periods.

“That sounds like a great idea,” said junior Kevin Payne. “It’s something to look forward to.”

Wednesdays would start with a 73-minute sixth period and then a  transition into 77-minute periods for first and second. A 50-minute advisory would follow second period and then students could go home or stay for lunch.

“I like [the proposed] Wednesday’s schedule because you would have the option of what food to eat.You could go home and eat healthy instead of eating Fremont’s greasy pizza,” said Media Academy junior Frank Hartwell IV.

Thursday’s schedule would also be the same as this year: third period, fourth period, fifth period, lunch and advisory. The only change would be five minutes taken off third period and added to lunch.

Most students, including freshman America Estrada, are looking forward to the new bell schedule next year.
“It’s way better than this year,” she said.