Alternative schedule

By: Ashley Bekkers, Bennett Andersen, Paulina Rheindorf, Cameron De Broux


Five more minutes! Only five more minutes until we get to go home! Multiple students chant as they’re all anxiously counting down the minutes until their school day is over. Many students throughout the United States await restlessly while students begin lining up at their door, just waiting for their bell to ring and burst out the door, eager to get home.

Schools across Wisconsin and the United States enforce a seven hour school day, five days a week for 180 days. On one hand students are trying to get enough sleep, but that can easily become a problem when they have homework along with other hobbies outside of school.

Maintaining a decent amount of sleep, where the human body still functions, is nearly impossible with these factors, especially with the current school schedule students face nowadays. Most adolescents suffer from not getting enough sleep and end up being tired throughout the school day. This can cause a decrease in grades, as well as not being able to stay awake in their classes. Bay Port High School struggles to find a balance for students and their busy schedules.  

Bay Port has a school day that consists of technically 12 different periods. Class periods are roughly 46 minutes long. Students have the option to choose their classes at the beginning of each semester, which gives them the freedom for any breaks or study halls throughout their day.  

Unfortunately, some students here at Bay Port go an entire week without a break which can lead to exhaustion, as well as both mental and physical strain. Introducing a four day school week could eliminate these types of increasing problems.

In some school districts in other states states, they have started to apply a four day school week.

An increase in academic achievement also has been associated with a four-day school week,” said Katherine Bradley. “In one system, the impact of only two years of a four-day school week caused test scores to improve.”

Changing entire school schedules can be a very difficult challenge for students as well as administration. Some sacrifices would have to be made by teachers and students such as having longer school days.

This would include lengthening school days by up to a couple hours per day. Parents or legal guardians would also have to find a longer term babysitter for the day they have off.

Even with the sacrifices made by students, teachers, and parents, the positive outcomes to come from a four day school week would show both academically and physically. Test scores would improve and attendance would also improve instead of students staying at home because of the lack of sleep they got from the night before.

Another possible alternate schedule could include a later start time for high schoolers. The teenage brain does not wake up and become fully active until after 9 a.m.

In 2014,  Germantown High School in Wisconsin, put the late start option to the test.

After ten full school days, their high school principal, Mr. Joel Farren, gave out a poll to his entire student body with questions regarding whether the hours of sleep they received over the past ten days has increased or decreased, along with how energized they were in the mornings.

Students said they came to school feeling ready to learn as well as ready to interact with others. Student also said they still found time and energy to participate in after school clubs / activities.

The student body had an impressive 86 percent vote to change up the school hour policy, and make this their new everyday schedule. Although their ten day schedule only lasted for that time period, Principle Farren said he is open about becoming a permanent change.

Students can become sleep deprived and unmotivated throughout the week because of the lengthy schedules school systems have enforced. Evidence has shown from other schools throughout the country that a four day school week or a later start time has improved student morale over all.

Bay Port High School and neighboring schools would see a drastic change in both student and teacher wellness.