NPHS Bell Schedule Information
NPHS 2022-23 Bell Schedule Update
After a three-month process, the Newbury Park High School staff is excited to announce a new bell schedule for the 2022-23 school year. This bell schedule change brings many improved opportunities and upgrades to our ability to craft the Master Schedule for our community. I'm sure there are many questions about this process and what these changes might mean. The intent of this letter is to provide some important information and context for these changes and how they came about.
In May of 2019, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 328, requiring all California High Schools to start no earlier than 8:30am beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. The implementation of S.B. 328 next year required us to change our bell schedule in order to be in compliance with the law. The requirement of SB 328 is that we start school no earlier than 8:30am, but there are no other requirements to the structure of that time, other than meeting the minimum number of instructional minutes per year (64,800 minutes/year or roughly 380 minutes/day on average). The accounting of our annually required minutes, including daily minimum numbers of minutes, for a total of 180 days includes:
Common Planning Time days
Given that our current schedule starts at 7:10am, we were required to consider substantial changes to ensure that we can meet our daily and annual minimum minutes while maintaining a schedule that students, staff, and parents would still be happy with. This change in the bell schedule required us as a staff to convene a committee to consider possible options that would bring us into compliance with the law.
In order to have a fair representation of school site stakeholders, a broad cross-section of stakeholders including, faculty, admin, counseling, and classified staff comprised the NPHS Bell Schedule team. The Bell Schedule Committee began working in October of 2021 and met in various configurations over the ensuing four months to discuss a wide variety of scheduling options and concerns. General updates of the process were also provided at Principal Coffee meetings, PFA meetings, and School Site Council meetings. A vote to approve the new schedule by the teaching staff was conducted on January 26th with a final tally of 103-1.
Through that process, we took the opportunity to consider other instructional and operational needs of Newbury Park and take advantage of possible opportunities to refine our Master Schedule. The Bell Schedule Committee and the staff agreed that moving to a full rotating block (meaning that all of our classes periods 1-6 will rotate every other day all year long) was the best way for us to maintain a schedule that is very similar to the timeframe to the schedule we currently have.
Losing the ability to count 0 period minutes at the beginning of the day, creates a real challenge in meeting our annual minimum minutes. By adding a broader variety of 7th-period courses, we are able to recoup instructional minutes lost from the 0-period classes not being counted towards our instructional minutes. The new bell schedule created new options and opportunities for all students including:
Students’ ability to take Honors/AP/IB classes without having to have a full Honors/AP/IB schedule. We have many students on campus that benefit from a more limited introduction of advanced level classes, without the requirement of being full IB or having a full accelerated academic schedule.
Specialized programs like OASIS, DATA, AVID and Directed Studies can now be offered during the regular school day because those schedules are not blocked out by term block classes. These students need support throughout the school year and benefit tremendously from the ability of our schedule to include that support as part of their academic program.
Utilizing a full rotating schedule creates opportunities for teachers within disciplines or within specialized programs to have coordinated planning time throughout the year. This presents a great opportunity to ensure that various sections of specific classes (all of the Algebra 1 teachers, for example) have the time to meet outside of class to ensure that the pacing of these classes is properly articulated throughout the year. It is important to ensure that students receive essentially the same scope and sequence of curriculum regardless of the teacher that is teaching the class.
The rotating block schedule puts NPHS on the same grading timeline as the other comprehensive high schools in our district and community.
All students will receive instruction in all core content areas for the entire school year which will alleviate, for example, the concern of students taking Spanish term 1 during Freshman year and not taking Spanish 2 until the second semester of Sophomore year.
The majority of our 7th-period classes will be structured in a hybrid format which means that students will only meet with teachers in person one to two days a week in person, and then they will be able to connect with teachers virtually the other days of the week.
Increased 7th-period offerings (both in-person and Hybrid/Online classes) give NPHS Students the continued ability to have flexibility in their schedule, receive extra help for challenging subjects, or get ahead.
Student support classes such as AVID, Oasis, and Directed Studies can be placed during periods one through six.
A broader offering of Performing Arts classes can now be offered during the school day rather than being limited just to Zero Period as it has been in the past.
This new bell schedule represented only a minor change in the start time and length of the day while still coming into compliance with SB 328. We felt this schedule offered the least disruption in continuity for the Newbury Park students and staff.
On a regular school day schedule, block classes will be 100 minutes per period, and 7th-period classes will be 55 minutes per day. On a common planning time day, block classes will be 85 minutes per period and 7th-period classes will be 50 minutes per period, retaining enough instructional time to minimize the impact of common planning on instruction, while providing time for the staff to address other non-instructional responsibilities
Newbury Park High School is excited to begin this new journey for the 2022-23 school year. We have already started the work to transition to a new schedule. We look forward to maximizing the learning opportunities, social-emotional opportunities, and co-curricular opportunities of our new schedule for our staff, students, and families.