New schedule for 2019-20 school year aims for consistency


Olivia Ramberg-Gomez, Culture Editor

Students, teachers, and parents from Palo Alto High School will see a change in the daily bell schedule at the start of the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

The new schedule has been finalized after being in the process of creation for the past year, with specific modifications to make it more consistent week-to-week, for students, according to guidance counselor Susan Shultz.

The new schedule is fairly similar to the existing one, according to Shultz. The biggest change being is that Monday will be a rotating block day, alternating between Even and Odd period days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to have periods 2, 4, 6 and Tutorial. Thursday will include both tutorial and advisory. Wednesdays and Fridays will have periods 1, 3, 5, and 7. 

“If people were confused by the rotating schedule, the hope is now they’re only confused by one day a week,” Shultz said.

The bell schedule committee not only hopes to fulfill the academic hours that Paly is required to have, but it also aims to create more consistency for students and parents. According to Shultz, the inconsistency was causing problems for many people.

“It [the old schedule] didn’t work for a lot of people’s scheduling purposes,” Shultz said. “You couldn’t always have a certain appointment on Tuesdays because sometimes Tuesdays would be a short day and sometimes they would be a longer day.”

While working on the schedule both this year and last year, the committee also kept in mind the negative feedback they received about C-days. On C-days, students would go to each of their classes for about 50 minutes.

“We heard loudly and clearly a year ago, working on the schedule, that people weren’t fond of C-days,” Shultz said. “So we didn’t play with the idea of bringing C-days back.”

According to Shultz, the committee wanted to find a way to make the existing schedule more consistent without bringing the C-day schedule back.

The concept of the new schedule has caused mixed reactions between students and teachers, some see it as a good change, while others feel the change is not necessary and that it will just be more confusing.

Spanish teacher Kevin Duffy does not think that the transition to the new schedule is going to be a very dramatic change from the existing one.

“It seems like the committee analyzed the situation and made a good recommendation,” Duffy said.  “I trust the committee and I think it’s very thoughtful that they are making changes for good reasons.”

On the other hand, there are some doubts about the new schedule. According to junior Leanna Colanino, the new schedule might throw students off, especially when there are long gaps between when a certain class meets. 

“I feel like it’s [the new schedule] gonna throw off the dynamic between the classes,” Colanino said. “It’s gonna get confusing and people might fall behind in their work and not know what’s going on.” 

Even though some doubts about the new schedule remain, the overall hope is that it will be more consistent for most days of the week.

“When we did the bell schedule over a year ago, we didn’t get exactly what we wanted,” Shultz said. “We knew we’d have to come back and look at it again.”