The Question of Zero Bell

Grace Burch

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The option to take a zero bell is back this year, and more students than ever have taken advantage of its benefits. Last year, the district with Lakota Next made the decision to offer more classing options, the most popular being seven-bell schedules. That many students decided to opt for the early start time is evident through the scheduling of this year. Many may want to ask those deciding to go for the zero bell: “Why would you want to get up that early?” According to a junior, he took a zero bell in order to get more credits and take the classes that he wanted to take. Additionally, a sophomore chose this route in order to gain credits more quickly.
In order to find out more about the benefits and drawbacks of taking an extra bell, I talked to Mrs. Zugelter, an English teacher at Lakota West and a member of the building leadership team. She explained to me that this extra time has the ability to free up a student’s workload and allow them to take a class that they are interested in, perhaps an art or music class. She also advised that students take on the extra period only if they are able to arrive at school on time every day and be ready to learn and work hard early in the morning. If a student can do this, a zero bell is a great option to earn more credits more quickly, and take all of the classes that they want to take. However, this option could also cause more stress for a student and be a lot to handle. The addition of a class will include more homework, more tests to study for, and more projects, which can cause a student to be even more overwhelmed, hindering their success in their other classes.
While an early period has its benefits, it is also wise to ensure that a student is prepared to get up early and be alert in order to succeed the rest of the day. While students may have varying opinions on whether an extra bell would be beneficial to them, it is evident that it could be a great option for many students.