NPHS staff determine new bell schedule for 22-23 school year

On Oct. 13, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 328, which prohibits high schools from starting instructional school minutes before 8:30 a.m. by 2022. Due to this new bill, NPHS teachers and administration have been working together to put forth a new schedule for the 2022-2023 school year.

Currently zero period begins at 7:10 a.m. and is counted for instructional minutes, while seventh period is not. Next year, NPHS will be unable to count zero periods for their total allocated requirement. While it may seem easy to shift classes 15 minutes forward, and to account seventh period for the total minutes, many questions have been raised regarding the likelihood of it working. “[This year,] we don’t count our instructional minutes to our seventh period classes because we don’t offer a diverse offering of courses. It’s a very small amount. It’s athletics, a couple of VPA and TOK, [and] so we don’t actually even count those towards our total instructional minutes,” Steve Lepire, principal said. 

In order to count certain periods and classes for instructional minutes, the school needs to meet several requirements. For one, there needs to be a variety of classes in order for that “period” to be accounted for. In addition, there needs to be a certain number of students attending those classes. Schools need to calculate the average daily attendance.“There’s a minimum amount of instructional minutes that we have to have in total for the 180 days of the school year, which is 64,800 instructional minutes. Anytime [students] meet as a class, [anytime] we have an assembly, rally, [even] passing periods, those all count towards our instructional minutes,” Lepire,said. 

Since the beginning of the school year, NPHS staff have been collaborating to create potential options. “We’re working on [coming to an agreement.] We’ve come up with a bunch of different schedules. We’re also looking at potentially, you know, ideas of embedding…an advisory period where we can build in social emotional learning, curriculum for all of our students,” Lepire said.

By early February, the staff will need to vote on a schedule that the school would follow for the next school year. However, if they are unable to reach an agreement, a default schedule will be put in place. This default schedule would be the closest to how this year’s schedule is run, pushing all classes forward by 15 minutes, while having zero period classes to not be counted for the total minutes. This is because first period will begin before 8:30 a.m. In addition, seventh period classes will not be counted for instructional minutes if there is not a diverse offering of courses and enough students enrolling in them. In order to reach the minimum amount of minutes allocated for instructional teaching, the length of classes will be increased.

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