Opinion: The Pros and Cons of FTHS Scheduling


Chloe Zarrinkelk

Time slips away as this year school starts a half an hour earlier but it might as well be a millennium earlier to some.

Frances English and Emilie Huovinen

As we all finally return back to school, the switch to our original schedule has so far included both positive and negative aspects. Here are our sides to the story. 

If quarantine taught us anything, it was that some changes needed to be made. So why, when we finally are back in school, are we reverting back to our old ways? The start change from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. appeared as a subtle one to the district; however, for students, it was just another reason as to why so many of them are having trouble adjusting.

Most teenagers need to be getting at least nine hours of sleep each night, yet because of how school is scheduled, they seem to only get seven hours of sleep on average. The routine of last year’s schedule shifted every student’s sleeping cycle, thus making it hard for them to adjust from fewer rest hours. Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect a student’s mental state, mood and academics. A common argument from most adults and the school district would be to go to sleep at an earlier time; however, this argument fails. A study done at the University of Minnesota states that teenagers are hardwired to go to sleep at 11 p.m. or later, so after a routine of last year’s schedule shifted every student’s sleeping cycle, it would take a long period of time to adjust to a new sleeping schedule. 

In light of this situation, a bill is currently trying to be passed in California so that all high schools, except for rural ones, can not start earlier than 8:30 a.m. Therefore, our school’s change to the new start time just seems counterproductive.

While there are some aspects of Foothill Technology High School’s (Foothill Tech) original schedule that need changes, there are also some that should stay.

Now that school is starting to go back to normal, there are a few components that freshmen and sophomores are new to. One of them includes Foothill Intervention, Reinforcement and Enrichment (FIRE). FIRE is a time before lunch where freshmen get to talk to teachers and upperclassmen in order to ask questions about homework, school and overall advice. Last year, FIRE was quite different online. A lot of students did not show up, and it was tricky to bond with other classmates and leaders without getting a real idea of what school at Foothill would look like. Although sophomores didn’t get a normal experience last year, freshmen have a chance this year to get to experience FIRE in person. 

While the freshman have FIRE, everyone else gets a longer lunch period, which is agreeably refreshing. This extra time can universally be used to talk to teachers about assignments, to cool off with friends and to get ready for  following classes. This makes students feel a lot less rushed and nervous about the rest of the day because they know they have that time to tend to their personal needs.

Hopefully, these pros and cons that come with current in-person school should be the district’s main focus to help us adapt. Nevertheless, we are excited for what else this school year will bring!

What do you think?