The has introduced a new bell schedule for the 2012-2013 school year. The new schedule increases instructional time by 16 minutes and lengthens the school day by a total of five minutes.
The additional minutes were a part of the district’s teacher negotiations, according to Superintendent Charles Sampson.
“Sixteen instructional minutes does not sound like a lot at face value, even adding two minutes to a period, but over the scope of a year that’s several additional full periods related to that subject, so it does make a huge difference,” Sampson said.
The first period class has absorbed homeroom so that passing time is reduced. The past schedule had a five minute homeroom period and a five minute passing time between homeroom and first period. This new schedule eliminates those ten minutes and rolls them into added instructional time.
First period has been extended by three minutes to incorporate any usual homeroom activities and announcements while every other period was extended by a few minutes.
The additional minutes were strategically placed throughout the day so that students benefit from more instructional time, according to Sampson. Each period was extended by several minutes to 47 minutes, except for first period which will be three minutes longer than the other periods in order to incorporate homeroom.
A number of different students contacted the superintendent via email and others even spoke publicly about their concerns at the last Board of Education meeting. Students were mostly concerned about the elimination of the five minute homeroom and five minute passing time they thought was essential for clubs, extra studying, socializing, and getting to class on time.
Each school principal is working with the new schedule to make sure that all clubs, that would normally get together during homeroom, have appropriate time to meet. The superintendent insisted that each building principal was working to accommodate all co-curricular and extra-curricular activities so that this new schedule does not take away time from them.
Additionally, Board Secretary and Business Administrator Sean Boyce said that the Transportation Department has been made aware of the new schedule and no transportation problems should occur.
An incoming ninth grader will see an additional 195 hours in instructional time with this new schedule. Therefore, the superintendent said that this schedule is well worth the period of adjustment and inconvenience this years students will see.
Freehold High School, Howell High School, and will be “early schools” with first period beginning at 7:30 a.m. Colts Neck High School, Freehold Township High School and Marlboro High School will be “late schools” with first period beginning at 8:25 a.m. Nevertheless, all schools will see the same amount of instructional time.