Confusing schedule has some hearing bells too often

Bailey Kirkeby, News Editor

Nearly two months into the 2018-2019 school year, Bear Creek was still experiencing weekly changes regarding the bell schedule.
With problems such as constant revisions of the bell schedule itself, the bell failing to ring on time, and teachers not being able to hear different bells, students were frustrated with their inconsistent class times and the lack of information provided about these changes.
“Sometimes I will be working, and the bell will go off sooner or later than it should, so I have to either rush to pack up or wait longer than I thought to be let out of class,” junior Matthew Kimrey said.
However, this frustration was not exclusive to students — some teachers said that the unstable bell schedule decreased the amount of productive class time they had.
“I still don’t hear a bell at the end of the passing period between second and third, so I never know when to start class,” Integrated Math 1 and AP Calculus AB and BC teacher Eric Vallecillo said. “[I have] no idea when announcements [are] coming on, no idea when tutoring starts. Second period feels like they lost 10 minutes of class.”
The method of informing teachers about the altered schedule further increased confusion amongst the Bear Creek staff.
“I remember one day we got [around] three revised emails in one day,” Vallecillo said.
Bear Creek’s principal, Hillary Harrell, said that the major reason for the changing schedule was clerical error.
“At the end of the school year, we proposed… moving the tutorial time… and changing when the bulletin was read,” Harrell said. “When that happened, though, nobody seemed to notice that we were gonna need to change our schedule a little bit to take the extra time that’s given to the bulletin and move it into second period.”
Harrell said Bear Creek had to wait for the Lodi Unified School District to fix the bells when they are changed, prolonging the time it took to finalize the schedule.
“There’s actually district personnel that come in to change your bells… so when you have to change them, you have to get in line,” Harrell said. “There [were] other schools that were in line before us, so that’s why it took a long time to be able to change them.”
Luckily, Bear Creek’s current bell schedule is likely to stay.
“I think now we’re ringing [the bells] the way they’re supposed to,” Harrell said. “Changes happen, and it’s entirely possible [the schedule changes again], but this is what I’m hoping we’re [sticking] with.”