Students Adjust to New Bell Schedule

Westwood+students+began+a+new+virtual+bell+schedule+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+19.+The+adjustment+was+difficult+for+some+but+beneficial+for+others.+%0A

Photo By Hannah Ashtari

Westwood students began a new virtual bell schedule on Monday, Oct. 19. The adjustment was difficult for some but beneficial for others.

By Hannah Ashtari and Eshaan Chopra

In order to allow teachers more time to interact with students, as well as provide more opportunities for students to ask questions and receive teacher feedback, the Westwood administration implemented a modified schedule on Monday, Oct. 19. 

Under the new schedule, asynchronous time has been shortened. Additionally, synchronous instruction for first and fifth block begins 20 minutes earlier, with asynchronous instruction occurring after class, instead of before. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with classmates and receive tutoring during blended time. 

“At first I didn’t like the sound of the new schedule mainly because I already had a routine down that was working for me. The longer synchronous classes benefit me in some blocks, but not all,” Anna Beatty ‘21 said. “I just wished we would’ve changed schedules maybe second semester, middle of the semester seemed too abrupt.” 

Beatty added that not every class had changed its structure under the modified schedule. While some teachers adapted their lessons to the new schedule, others didn’t.  

“Blended time has felt the same as normal synchronous class for me at least,” Beatty said. “I feel that most of the IB teachers use the extended blended 15 minutes to continue normal class; only my one AP teacher I have legitimately devoted that time to ‘applications’ and demonstrating practice problems.”  

While some students and teachers found the longer synchronous time beneficial, because it allows for more flexibility and time to review topics, others view the adjustment as having benefits but also downsides. 

“I like having longer [synchronous] time because I can grasp the concept and understand what we are doing but at the same time with me going to work and everything I didn’t really have much time to do homework,” Dakiah Dansby ‘21 said. “So I kind of liked having longer [asynchronous] blocks because I can get the work done.” 

Despite some of the drawbacks of having less independent work time, the changes also allowed for some leeway in fine arts classes, which have more hands on activities that might take longer to conclude.

“I actually prefer the new bell schedule because I’m in a lot of fine arts classes and the extra fifteen minutes is really helpful when wrapping things up,” Jinx Weiner ‘21 said. “I think the structure is a lot better [now that we’re] moving to flex in the morning, because now there is about an equal amount of time between each class.” 

For freshmen, the modified schedule was just another wrench thrown into the plans of their first year of high school, which has been radically different than what they had anticipated. 

“Starting high school completely online [has] definitely been weird and a bit of a challenge,” Sanshitha Sankar ‘24 said. “I was looking forward to going to Westwood and being in the school physically, so that was a letdown. Being online is a bit of a problem because I get sidetracked in class all the time. To be honest, I’m not paying attention half the time.” 

Though the changing circumstances can be hard to keep up with, students try their best to adapt in the face of unusual circumstances. 

“I’m getting more used to it every day. In fact, I think I might forget how actual, physical school works,” Sankar said.