After months of deliberation, school board leaves bell schedule unchanged

January 21, 2022 — by Andrew Lin and Nikhil Mathihalli
A survey found that 50% of respondents preferred to keep the fall bell schedule, influencing the district’s decision.

After receiving teacher and student negative feedback for the first semester bell schedule that lacks a daily tutorial, district leaders sent a survey to the students, parents and staff members at both Saratoga and Los Gatos High before winter break to gauge which schedule changes the stakeholders would like to see. 

In the survey, students, teachers and parents could choose between three bell schedule drafts that each had benefits and drawbacks, and would offer different schedule amendments such as shorter passing periods, daily tutorials or consistent end times.

Most students, after completing the survey, believed the majority would want the schedule to be changed. However, on Dec. 15, superintendent Mike Grove announced that the fall bell schedule would carry over to the spring semester after 50.5 percent of all respondents preferred to stick with the current one.

Grove said the decision to maintain the status quo was also aimed at preventing pressure on teachers with their tight schedules. Additionally, changing the bell schedule immediately was not an urgent demand from most stakeholders.

Because principal Greg Louie started working at Saratoga High a few years ago, he does not have much of an opinion on this decision.

“It’s hard for me to say specifically what type of bell schedule will work best for the students. However, in the time I’ve been here, I think our students and staff really appreciate the rolling block schedule,” Louie said. 

Even though the district chose to stay with the current bell schedule for the spring semester, a new bell schedule that includes a daily tutorial is likely for next year. By state law, it will maintain an 8:30 start time.

Despite the board’s attempts to provide more tutorial time, senior class president Apurva Chakravarthy, who has experienced three different bell schedules during her time at SHS, prefers the bell schedule used during the 2019-2020 school year.

“I think the bell schedule that we had before the pandemic was the best, because I really liked having tutorial every day,” Chakravarthy said. “The tutorial on Blue Days is a mess. It’s hard to split up if you want to see multiple teachers, or if you want to go to your Red Day classes. In general, it’s way too long, and I just end up with nothing to do.”

1 view this week