The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

Casa’s New Schedule: Increased Period Offerings

As the 2023-2024 school year is slowly approaching its end, the Petaluma City Schools’ administration, in partnership with faculty from both the high schools in Petaluma, is debating several alterations to the schedule that the schools have had since 2022. But what initially caused these changes, and what might also be affected in upcoming school years?

Since 2022, Petaluma high schools have had to make some major adjustments to fit new laws made for school educational minutes. The legislation (Senate Bill 328) essentially mandated that high school classes may not begin before 8:30 AM, which was intended to provide teenagers with a little more sleep. For Casa Grande, the 8:30 start time didn’t mean much as the school had already started at 8:30 for a number of years prior. What did change, however, was a clause stating that no class before 8:30 could count toward the minimum number of required instructional minutes for schools. 

For Casa Grande, this meant that zero period classes would no longer be counted as instructional minutes, leaving the school below the legal threshold required. With this change, Casa implemented a new system called academic flex time (AFT), which essentially implemented a block section of 25 minutes after each class period. For both faculty and students alike, this meant that the school now had over 6 more hours of class time per week. 

Understandably, students were rather vexed about this addition to their schedules. “I understand why we need a new schedule, but it’s pretty annoying. I just think it’s a pain for everyone to adjust.” said junior Katelyn Fiorenza. This opinion is common throughout the student body, including senior Austin Talbot who stated, “There’s been a different schedule pretty much every year while I’ve been here so I’m kind of used to it by now. It sucks for the underclassmen though.”

In 2024 however, the Bell Schedule Committee proposed several changes in a recently released survey. A few potential options include adjusting the alternating block schedule as modifying the formerly mentioned AFT. For context, Casa’s alternating bell schedule functions on having A-days and B-days, with a 6-period schedule having 3 classes during each day. In this schedule, A-days and B-days alternate, with some weeks having A-days Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and alternate weeks having A-days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The survey, which was open to students and parents, was a way for everyone to have their voice heard and to build a schedule which the student body would find agreeable.

For upcoming school years, the current Bell Schedule Committee has proposed several options for AFT in the survey, which are:

  1. 2-3 days a week for about 45-60 minutes each
  2. 4 days a week for about 30-45 minutes each
  3. Daily for 20-30 minutes each
  4. Never (instructional minutes would then be added to other classes)

The Bell Schedule Committee has also offered 3 choices to students for the time of day of the new AFT:

  1. Early in the day (after first block)
  2. Middle of the day (after second or third block)
  1. End of the day (after last block)

Another schedule format is called a Fixed Schedule. In this schedule, A-days and B-days happen on consistent days each week. To establish this consistency, a C-day, on which students attend all of their classes for a shorter period rather than a block, occurs once a week. For example, a fixed schedule could be:

Monday – C

Tuesday – A

Wednesday – B

Thursday – A

Friday – B

As the school approaches the new year, questions about the schedule are piling up. However, as of publication of this article, two things have been made clear by the Bell Schedule Committee. The first is that the schedule will not be altered until the 2025-2026 school year; the second is that whichever schedule is settled on, the model will allow for students to take seven periods in total to better meet graduation requirements.

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