Jesuit community adjusts to in-person learning and a new bell schedule

Plank Article Evan Mayers ’22

As Jesuit High School Sacramento students poured onto campus to begin the 2021-22 school year, students returning to in-person instruction for the first time in over a year experienced many changes, which include the wearing of masks, social distancing, and plexiglass dividers. One additional change that all faculty, staff, and students alike will be adjusting to is a new bell schedule.

In the past, the bell schedule was quite different. On Mondays, students were to attend all 7 classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays, consisted of only even-numbered classes while odd-numbered courses met on Wednesdays and Fridays. The new bell schedule is a rotating, serpentine schedule where only 5 periods meet each day, including “Community” periods meeting as the last period on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

According to Jesuit Principal Dr. Michael Wood ’99, last year’s schedule was a reflection of numerous factors related to COVID-19. 

“For a hybrid or dual delivery system, the schedule was designed to reduce screen time, to allow for the midweek support, which actually helped with contact tracing, and quarantining,” Dr. Wood said. “So lots of elements that were COVID related, that weren’t necessarily for a full return to campus.” 

Reactions to the new schedule on campus have been mixed as students and faculty alike adjust to life back on campus and with the new bell schedule. In an environment that is still grappling with the challenges of COVID-19, the new bell system will take some getting used to.

“ [E]veryday at least two or three times a day, I’ll have someone randomly walk into my class and not know they are in the right class,” said Mr. Nicholas Llanos, Statistics teacher. “So that’s hard to keep track of I think.”.”

Another big change to the new bell schedule is the Community periods. As Dr. Wood explained, the Community period has been implemented with the hope it would help students find the time to fully integrate into the community at Jesuit. Students are invited to meet with teachers during office hours; find a quiet place to work on classwork play Spikeball on the senior lawn, get in early work for sports practices; participate in clubs, campus ministry, and many other activities available to the students during Community.

Jagger Shaddix ’22 explains the benefits of the Community periods and how he uses them. 

“Community period helps me not to have homework,” Jagger said. “This helps manage my workload because I have football practice after school.” 

While students and faculty settle in for the new school year, the new bell schedule is just one of many changes students will need to adjust to in the new COVID-19 world in which we find ourselves.  

Having the Brotherhood back to in-person learning together every day will hopefully make the challenges we face well worth the adjustments, including the new bell schedule.