New Year, New Schedule


Samantha George, Junior Writer

As we transition out of last year’s COVID-19 school schedule, a completely new set of schedule changes are being introduced at the start of the 2021-22 school year. XH was taken out of the school day, a new Nexus bell is an option for students, school starts and ends later, and there are only 45-minute classes with no block days. There has been a lot of discussion among students and teachers, and a lot of unhappiness around the new schedule changes.  


One of the biggest changes in schedule is the new seven bell schedule for every student. Any students who did not sign up last year for a seventh bell got a Nexus bell instead. This new class may appear to be something like a study hall, but Mr. Brown, principal of Lakota West, explains that the new NEXUS bell is a place to “provide opportunities for students that will evolve over time”. These opportunities include 4 categories, an independent study hall, a group study hall, a place to relax and do recreational activities, and a place to get help from teachers. Mr. Brown explained that as the year progresses, Nexus will incorporate more opportunities like student-led projects and become more than just the study hall it is now.  So perhaps we need to give Nexus time to evolve.


Nexus is also the reason that XH, which is usually 45 minutes long, was replaced with a shorter 25-minute advisory bell, incorporated into fourth bell. The administration felt like XH was “well used by some, others not so much…some students would try to take opportunities to socialize and wander around.” The more controlled advisory periods are designed to have teachers check that students are doing their work and get them help if needed. Although this new schedule is designed to help academically, a big issue students have with the removal of XH is that they are unable to visit their teachers. Mr. Brown explained that students can either get help from the teachers in their Nexus bell or have to individually plan a time in their school day to meet up with their teachers. 


Other schedule changes like the later start times and only having three lunches were put into place because of a seven bell schedule. The later start and end times allowed all students to have seven bells and the three lunch periods also gave more time to incorporate an extra bell. Although not everyone is happy with these changes, Mr. Brown said that the administration is always open to suggestions by students or staff.


Although the administration seems to think that this new schedule change is helpful to students, many students think otherwise. When interviewing students about the new Nexus bell, there was an overwhelmingly negative reaction to it. Many felt that it was unnecessary as they would have rather had a senior flex or just go home. A lot of students also complained about not being able to go anywhere during Nexus, not even to the restroom. The seven bell schedule also had a similar bad reaction because many students felt like they did not need it.


Other schedule changes like the later start times were more liked by students. However, some thought that the 45 minute classes were a little too short. One student suggested that we have a block day at some point just so there is time to get work done in class. Others also wanted to have ten-minute breaks between classes because it was so hard to get from one class to another in five.


The new schedule change has been a topic of discussion for students and staff this past week. Although many feel like this new schedule does not benefit them, a lot of it, especially Nexus Bell, will be changing to fit potentially helpful opportunities for students. The students of Lakota West will have to wait and see how this new schedule is going to change our school experience.