Potential Bell Schedules for the 2022-23 School Year

Ever since the pandemic, there have been many changes to Cleveland’s bell schedule. With the next school year coming soon, it appears that there will be a change yet again from the current one.

Portland Public Schools recently surveyed teachers about three proposed schedules, asking which one they prefer. The current schedule – alternating A and B block days Monday through Thursday with all eight periods on Friday – was not included among the three proposed schedules because of the negative feedback about the all eight period day.

The district initiated the survey in hopes to have continuity throughout the district with the same bell schedule used at each high school. As of press time, a decision on which schedule Cleveland will follow next year has not been released.

Each proposed schedule comes with its own pros and cons.

Option 1 is the schedule Cleveland had pre-pandemic. It’s a rotating A/B schedule. There would be flex pairs starting on the second A day every other five-day week. Flex would either be embedded in between classes or at the end of the day. Since flex comes in pairs, they would either be on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

Students have mixed opinions on this schedule based on a Clarion survey. Many students liked how it was the last time we had school before the pandemic, commenting that the schedule is “good,” “great,” and “worked perfectly.”

But others have brought up valid points as to why it doesn’t work. In the anonymous survey by the Clarion, one student wrote, “Does not work. It’s not fair for students who have a free period and use that for jobs/extracurriculars. If it’s only changing, then they can’t use it for constantly scheduling weekly events.”

“This would be fine, but I definitely prefer the fixed day schedule instead of alternating,” said another anonymous student.

Option 2 is similar to the current schedule, but instead of all 8 periods on Friday, there would be rotating block Fridays. This means that the schedule will go A, B, A, B Monday through Thursday and then on Friday, it will be an A on the first week, then a B day the following week.

The problem with this schedule is that we will have two B days in a row every other week. This schedule is also a huge problem for the language teachers, because languages require constant practice. If this schedule were to take place, then every other week students wouldn’t have B days for four days.

Student opinion is varied for this schedule as well. Some students hate the idea of having two B days in a row, while others agree that this is the least bad schedule out of the three.

“Not great. The inconsistency isn’t good for students with free periods who use it for jobs/extracurriculars,” said one anonymous student. Another said, ”definitely my favorite of the three options.”

Option 3 is an A,B,C,D schedule where days Monday through Thursday are all unique and Fridays are “flex days.” Mondays and Tuesdays alternate A (periods 1, 2, 3, 4) and B (5, 6, 7, 8) days with periods 92 minutes long. Wednesday is a C day with class periods 1,2,3,4,5,6, but those classes are 60 minutes each. Thursday is a D day with class periods 7,8,1,2,3,4, also 60 minutes. Friday starts out with a 60-minute Flex, then moves to 60-minute period 5 and 6, and a 20-minute homeroom. Afternoons on Fridays would have 60-minute periods 7 and 8 and the day would end with another 60 minutes of Flex.

Student opinion on this schedule is as expected. At first glance this schedule is incredibly difficult to understand and remember.

“This is way too confusing, what is going on?” one student wrote.

But others understand why this was an option.

“Good. I like the Flex periods each week. And the consistency. I think this is the best option, especially for juniors and seniors who need Flex,” another student wrote.

This option could also include some variety in the school week, and students wouldn’t be going to the same classes everyday. Teachers would also get to see their students at different times of the day, so those who don’t do well in morning classes have the chance to show teachers what they’re like at their best.

Students and staff have endured a lot of change since the pandemic, from synchronous and asynchronous schedules while learning online, to an alternating hybrid model a year ago last spring, to the current schedule this year.

The current proposed schedules all have their pros and cons, and students recognize that. However, students have not had direct input to the decision-making process on what the schedule will be next year. As of press time, teachers and students do not know what the new schedule will be, but it is fairly certain that they will be experiencing yet another change to the bell schedule.

Whatever the district and school decides, the schedule will come with its own set of challenges that the Cleveland High School staff and students will have to navigate.