BHS community shares good and bad of new schedules

Barrington students, adults talk about pros and cons as they adjust to new schedule

By Noelle Faiza
Posted 11/27/19

For more than a month, those involved with Barrington public schools have been adjusting to the change in school schedules. Everyone, from students and their parents, to coaches and teachers, has …

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BHS community shares good and bad of new schedules

Barrington students, adults talk about pros and cons as they adjust to new schedule


For more than a month, those involved with Barrington public schools have been adjusting to the change in school schedules. Everyone, from students and their parents, to coaches and teachers, has been affected. Criticisms as well as comments of support have been made in regard to the change, and below is a series of individual perspectives from members of the Barrington High School community. 

More sleep, late practices

Over a month into the school year, multi-sport athlete Chris Silveria finds the change in school times has not been as much of a challenge as it once seemed it would be.

“I really don’t mind,” he said. “It has pushed back my sport schedules and made it a bit harder to get around, but I am getting more sleep in the morning. Although I do go to bed later than I used to. So it kinda evens out that way.”

His main concern is how the change has pushed back practices and meets for cross country. “For instance,” he explained, “when I have meets, we might get there late, or even for home meets some of the other teams will get to our own course before we do. Also, some of our meets and practices are running kind of late. We will get home and it’ll be pretty dark out.”

He is also apprehensive about what will happen when his swim season starts. “I am concerned about the meets, because those tended to run late last year, and this year if they get pushed back an hour they will be pretty late. I expect to get home about 10, 10:30 every night we have a meet.” 

More time in the morning, less time at night

Raina Moore is a leader in the Barrington High School community. She is on the school’s news show “Sunrise” and is an active member of nine clubs. Since the start time change, Raina’s after-school time has become “a lot more condensed and a lot more intense,” as she often has to juggle between up to four club meetings and riding horses at Windswept Farm in one day.

On the upside, she says her “mornings are fine because I have enough time to do homework if I need to and actually wake up. I’m up pretty early and I feel refreshed for the day.”

She was also disappointed in the adjustment to Common Planning Time, often referred to as CPT, which allows students to come to school later while teachers hold staff meetings. Last year, students would arrive at school an hour later than usual every other Thursday and only have five classes rather than the typical six. This year, students only have a delay of half an hour every Tuesday, and instead of having one fewer class, they have shortened periods throughout the day. In her opinion, the change makes “it now feel like we don’t have one [CPT],” as the duration has been cut in half. 

Better health for the kids

As a mother of two at Barrington High School, a developmental psychologist, and advisor for the Speech and Debate Club, Dr. Laura Turner has supported the change in start times from the beginning.

“From what I can tell,” she said, “this is the direction schools are moving to.” She finds that her kids often wake up before their alarms go off at 7:30 because they are rested. She jokes that gone are the days when she has to pry them out of bed at 6:30. Not only that, but they are more awake and hungry for breakfast. 

Too much to do, too little time

Emma DiGiacomo feels that the “negatives of the change are overwhelmingly outweighing the benefits, at least for me, as someone who has to balance both sports and homework after school.” Since the change in times, due to club meetings and swim practices, she said she “usually comes home from swim past 9:30 and still have hours of work left.”

Last year’s start times allowed her to have more afternoon time to accomplish her homework, as well as take on the commitments of a student-athlete.

Now she says she is “stressed and up late every night finishing work.” She is also concerned about what will happen when she has a swim meet or a softball game after school. She is already seeing her peers who play fall sports being pulled out of class early. They are “missing valuable class time, sometimes in AP classes.”

Lost theatre internship program

Director of Arts Alive! Dena Davis, speaking on behalf of herself, not her organization, says that “it has been a shame to lose our Middle School Internship Program, because the kids get out of school too late to intern at the elementary schools.” Many students in Arts Alive works toward becoming an intern, Ms. Davis said, and “it will be sad to lose that element of ‘role models’ in rehearsals — in addition to the leadership skills gained by teenagers who may be interested in careers where this experience is so valuable.”

As far as high school interns are concerned, Ms. Davis said, “the BHS Internship Director is helping to recruit interns from the high school, but unless they have study for their final period, they cannot get to rehearsals in time either.”

As a mother, Ms. Davis said, “it is still a struggle” to get her son, a senior at Barrington High School, “out of bed in the morning.” She said she personally wishes that “teacher and student input would have been a higher priority.” 

More negatives than positives for students 

When it comes to the school start times, Barrington High School French teacher, Lisa DiPaola, says there are “more negatives than positives.” 

“What surprised me,” she says, “was how many students continue to complain about” the school start time changes. Ms. DiPaola emphasizes that her concerns are for the students, especially student athletes who continue to struggle to manage their workload with their sports. 

Getting into a new routine

For the past three years, Corinne Dougherty has been accustomed to going to school by 7:40, having rowing practice after school until 5 p.m., then going home. This year as a senior, she’s made major changes in her daily routine. When it comes to her opinion on the changes, she says she is “kind of in the middle. I appreciate them because I get a little more sleep when I don’t have rowing in the mornings, but at the same time, when rowing season is going on, we are waking up at 5:45 in the morning, and we are trying to go to bed early, but we have a bunch of homework that we have to complete.”

The rowing club has been getting on the water at dawn, because they don’t have enough time after school.

As far as how the adjustment has been, she said, “Now that I have gotten into a routine it’s not as bad, but I still would appreciate a little more sleep.” She also says, “Rowing is good, in the way we don’t have it after school, because I can go to clubs now and finish homework.” 

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