BSM Unveils Next Year’s Bell Schedule

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Sophia Salmon

Students travel the halls during passing time. Next year’s bell schedule is going to be different from this year’s.

Allison Voss and Piper Ehlen

As the school year comes to an end, the Benilde-St. Margaret’s community is beginning to wonder what the 2021-2022 school year’s schedule will look like. The administration has been working hard to finalize a schedule using insights from teachers, staff, and students. 

As of now, the plan is to have block days Monday to Thursday, alternating ’A’ and ‘B’ days, and all eight classes on Fridays. This prevents students from having to deal with not having a class for an entire quarter that this year’s schedule caused. “The purpose for the block days are that they support the kind of teaching that we value, but we don’t want to give up seeing our students every other day. We want to keep that connection. Plus, the eighty minute classes allow for some creativity when it comes to experiences outside the classroom,” senior high principal Dr. Susan Skinner said. 

As the topic of the new schedule was being discussed, multiple surveys were sent out to the teachers. Almost 80% of teachers responded in agreement with the pattern of the new schedule. “You’re never going to find a bell schedule that every single person loves,” Skinner said. 

Teachers were not the only ones surveyed when deciding on the schedule. Students’ opinions played a big role, too. Along with the teachers being sent surveys, the students were sent one as well. Known as the COVID-keepers survey, it questioned students on what changes should be kept among the ones made due to COVID. “It came up in the COVID keepers from the students [that they students] like the blocks,” Skinner said. 

Though a lot of students enjoy the block schedule, there are always others who disagree. The administration hopes that by adding a final day of the week to be an all-class schedule day that they will allow more students to be satisfied. “It’s a little bit like the best of both worlds,” Skinner said.

While there is no certainty on how open Minnesota will be by next fall, the administration is hopeful that BSM will be able to go back to normal to some extent. “We’re making the decision as if COVID is not a factor. I am optimistic that in the fall we’ll be back to some kind of normalcy, and I hope that masks can go away,” Skinner said. 

The placement of the homeroom was also up for discussion for the 2021-2022 school year. This was the first year homeroom was attached to a class period without its own classroom and time. Acknowledging feedback from students and teachers in addition to administrative discussion, people are in favor of continuing to keep homeroom attached to a class. “This year we attached homeroom to [students’] fifth or sixth hour, we’re going to keep that, so you don’t have a totally separate homeroom,” Skinner said.