This year, many students noticed something different when they returned to Bonneville High School. Last year, school released at 3:48; school now releases at 3:54. While this seems like a tiny change, it can feel much longer to a student already in school for over seven hours each day. As sophomore Isaac LeCheminant put it, “We are already at school for so long that six minutes seems minuscule, but each minute feels agonizingly long.” It turns out that there is a valid reason for the change, despite many students’ complaints.
In a survey of 120 Bonneville students, many mentioned the same problem. While six minutes may not seem like much time, it is a significant amount of time to be late for work. Before this year, many students had work shifts that started at four. They had 12 minutes to pack up their belongings and drive to their workplaces. This year, they ran into a problem: with only six minutes to do all that, they either showed up to work late or had to change which shift they worked. Senior Mykl Paulsen said, “[I] am unable to work the same shift at work, so I get paid less because I can't work as long.” Additionally, a problem arose for some students with the bus schedule. The buses stop at the middle school before coming to BHS; however, Rocky Mountain still releases the students at the same time as last year. Sophomore Ammon Creager said, “I almost miss the bus every day.” With this new ten-minute gap between release times, the buses often show up at Bonneville before the end-of-day bell even rings.
It turns out that the addition is not just “because they want us to cry,” as junior Clara Hoadley joked; there is a real reason. BHS principal Levi Owen explained that in the past, “buses were not able to make it to BHS and other high schools until well after school ended. The extended time... greatly reduces the amount of time students are left ‘unsupervised’ after the school day” and provides district transportation a little more wiggle room at the end of the day.
The extra six minutes at the end of the day may not feel quite so lengthy, yet it adds up to a great deal by the end of the school year. According to Owen, “By adding 6 minutes to the schedule, we actually pick up extra ‘days’ in the case of inclement weather or other breaks.” In past years, the district has come very close to not meeting the state-required instructional time and almost had to shorten spring break or add a few days to the end of the year. These few extra days allow space to breathe if a storm or power outage cancels school for a day or two. Additionally, it allows the district to have a slightly longer winter break this year!
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