The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Editorial: We should revert to the old bell schedule

Carlmont+should+return+to+its+old+bell+schedule.
Urvi Kulkarni
Carlmont should return to its old bell schedule.

In the 2021-2022 school year, Carlmont students without a seventh period started at 8:57 a.m., and students with a seventh period began at 8 a.m. No one left school at 3:45 p.m.; everyone would end simultaneously at 3:15 p.m.

This old schedule had many other benefits besides a later start for those without a seventh period and an earlier end time for those with a seventh period. For instance, many of the traffic issues Carlmont currently has by separating the times people commute to Carlmont into those with a seventh period and those without a seventh period. Additionally, the schedule helped students avoid traffic from the local middle schools, further decreasing commute times. 

However, Senate Bill 328 (SB328), a California law that is designed to improve teenagers’ sleep by prompting high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., had the opposite effect on Carlmont when it was implemented in the 2022-2023 school year by eliminating the majority of those benefits from the old schedule. 

There are many downsides to the current schedule created in response to SB328. Inconsistent end times mean coordinating pick-up times for parents with kids with different end times becomes extra tricky. Furthermore, the current schedule does not align as well with the bus schedule as the old schedule, meaning that students spend more time waiting around instead of getting their work done. In the end, any student without a seventh period must deal with these inconveniences, and any student with a seventh period must suffer the terrible fate of waiting until 3:45 p.m. to end class. 

Another issue with the current schedule is that extracurricular sports cannot start until 3:45 p.m. because that is when people with a seventh period get out. Later start times for sports mean that everyone who plays sports but doesn’t have a seventh period must wait an extra hour, meaning they get home later and get less sleep. 

Even though Carlmont decided to follow SB328, other high schools near Carlmont ignored the bill. Sequoia High School, Hillsdale High School, and Aragon High School all have zero periods that start before 8:30 a.m. despite the bill being in effect. What did the government do about these schools ignoring the bill? Nothing. 

Suppose other schools in the Belmont and San Mateo areas choose to start before 8:30 a.m. without punishment from the government. In that case, Carlmont should be able to revert to the old schedule without any repercussions either. It means that SB328 is not being enforced, and Carlmont can freely choose whatever schedule is best for its students.  

For the future generations of Carlmont students, the Scot Scoop Editorial Board urges Carlmont High School to reevaluate the current bell schedule and to consider the old bell schedule for future years. Even though implementing the old schedule comes at the cost of breaking SB328, it is a law that has had more negative effects than positive ones and a law that other schools have been willing to ignore.

The best schedule for Carlmont students is one where students start later, save time on their commutes every day, wait less for the bus after school, and get higher quantities of sleep. If the old bell schedule is reimplemented, we can see a happier and healthier student body going forward.

*This editorial reflects the views of the Scot Scoop Editorial Board and was written by Evan Leong.

The Editorial Staff staff voted 12 in agreement, 1 somewhat in agreement, and 2 in disagreement.

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About the Contributors
The Scot Scoop Editorial Staff strives to maintain reliable reporting while covering the hard-hitting topics that interest our community. Content on Scot Scoop is managed, reviewed, and maintained by the editorial staff using various tools and methods to produce, edit, and publish content daily. Editorial Staff members are Gabrielle Shore, Myles HuErik ChengAnnabel ChiaAimee TeyssierUrvi KulkarniEvan LeongUjala ChauhanCharlotte GordonAlexander MenchtchikovBen RomanowskyJackson SneeringerArianna ZhuEmma GoldmanElizabeth CruzAudrey Finigan, Rachel Alcazar, and Alessandra Tremulis.
Urvi Kulkarni, Scot Scoop Cartoons Managing Editor
Urvi Kulkarni is the Cartoon Managing Editor for Scot Scoop who finds an interest in local climate stories and visual arts. When she is not editing, cartooning, or writing, you can find her on the courts playing for the varsity tennis team, working on a painting, or spending time with her friends. Check out her portfolio here.

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