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Dragon's Tale

The Student News Site of Sonoma Valley High School


New Schedule Poses Stressful Challenges

Emma Griffiths

As students returned from winter break, SVHS announced a new schedule for the following school year. Due to a lack of classroom minutes required by the state, SVHS was forced to create a new schedule to comply with the guidelines. Significant changes to the current schedule include C-days three times weekly, 10-minute breaks, 30-minute lunches, and release time of 3:35 except on Wednesdays with a 2:20 release time.

One major group that the new schedule will negatively impact is student-athletes. The late release time will result in athletes missing almost two full class periods due to the addition of multiple C-days. As a student-athlete, I understand the struggles to catch up on missing work when it is required to leave early for a game. However, 5th and 6th-period teachers will also be heavily impacted as more students are required to miss class during that time of day. Coaches of student-athletes will be forced to begin practices later, as we will be released from school 30-40 minutes later than the current schedule, resulting in less time for homework and social activity, leading to increased stress and poor mental health. 

The shortened lunch period from 40 minutes to 30 minutes limits the opportunity for upperclassmen students to leave campus. As someone who leaves campus at lunch regularly, a shortened lunch period will result in more students being late to class, as it takes a certain amount of time to get in and out of the parking lot as well as having enough time to get food and finish eating before the next period. More and more students will return from lunch late and with food, which many teachers advise against or do not allow in their classes.

Including lunch and break, students will only have a total of a 40-minute break throughout the 7-hour school day. Less time to be social during the school day will result in shortened attention spans for students, especially throughout the three C-days in which students attend all six of their classes. With shorter breaks, students will also be more inclined to talk during class and increase the need for more frequent bathroom breaks during the period.

Overall, the new schedule has the potential to be harmful to the learning environment of students as well as restricting the teaching strategies of teachers with limited access to student-athletes and distracted pupils due to the longer school days and significantly shortened breaks.

However, for SVHS to continue to release students at 2:55 with reasonable breaks throughout the day, the first period would have to begin earlier than 8:30, which is prohibited under California law. The new law is based on data that suggests that high school students perform better academically with a later start time. The new schedule will challenge students and teachers in many ways. 

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About the Contributors
Francesca Padilla
Hey Dragons! I am a junior at SVHS, and I joined Dragon’s Tale to explore my interest in journalism. I play volleyball and hang out with friends in my free time. After high school, I plan to go to college and study magazine or broadcast journalism. 
Emma Griffiths
Emma Griffiths, Photo Editor
Good day Dragons! My name is Emma Griffith, this is my second year in the newspaper, and I will be the new editor for photography and art!! It still never gets old for me. Seeing the new information emerging with our school has always been interesting for me to report on and try my best to understand. I am on the girls' lacrosse team for the third year. Art is also my passion, taking AP 3d Design. Last year I made the Dragon's Tale logo, while this year's goal is to update the artwork to show my improvement. 

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