New school year, new changes

Sam Martin, News Editor

The new school year has brought in a lot of changes, but the most notable change was the school day schedule beginning an hour later, along with the elimination of Flex Fridays. 

The school board unanimously voted to change the schedule last spring, influenced by parents’ dislike of Flex Fridays because of how late they would start. The board’s decision was backed by research from many organizations, such as the University of Minnesota, which shows that a later start time can improve students’ sleep and overall health. This has been a piece of the restructuring of schedules at every level of the district in preparation for the expanding population of HHS as ninth graders move up to the high school rather than at the junior high school.

HHS is now from 8:45 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. Monday through Friday, instead of 7:55 a.m to 2:35 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday school days starting at 10:35 a.m.

After the first two weeks of classes, HHS students have had varied opinions in reaction to the changed schedule. 

Baylor Shelton, senior, is a captain of the boys soccer team and has enjoyed the shorter time between school and games. 

“Last year there was a lot of time between school and games and I did nothing during that time,” Shelton said. “Now we can go straight to them, so there’s less time to be unproductive.” 

Each sport has a different schedule, meaning Shelton benefits from the late release. Other sports have had to get used to getting let out of school before the day is over because of games or matches that begin just 30 minutes after school ends.

“People on our team will be missing the end of their last block because we have to leave early,” said Sophia Morley, senior, who is on the girls tennis team.

Not only have teams had to adapt, but clubs as well.

With the extra time in the morning, clubs are able to meet before school without waking up so early, but the school doors won’t open until 8:30 a.m. Clubs can start before that, but in order to enter the building, the advisor has to let the students in.

“I think that it’ll be a lot of work for the advisor to open the door for everyone, especially since not everyone gets to the meetings on time,” said Jade Hutton, senior, co-president of HopCares, who plans to begin meetings soon. “I want to be able to have meetings before school starts, but we might have to change it around depending on how the rest of the members feel. We all miss the late start on Fridays.”

Last year, clubs usually met on Fridays before school began, and the 10:35 a.m. start was well received among the student body. Losing Flex Fridays has had many students needing to find different times to meet for clubs, meeting with teachers for help, or retaking tests.