Tutorial may move to twice a week for 45 minutes

School considering changing bell schedule to make support period longer

As another school year at Cal High draws to an end, teachers and staff are discussing more potential changes to the bell schedule next school year.
In particular, Cal staff are considering adjusting the placement of student support, also known as tutorial.
“We still have the same state mandated requirements and constraints,” assistant principal Jeff Osborn said. “We’re just looking to make tweaks to it to see what we can do to better serve all of our staff and students.”
There have been many proposals made by various members of the Cal faculty on the subject. Some proposals include extending student support to 45 minutes but having it only twice a week. Tutorial this year is 30 minutes four days a week.
There’s also discussions about moving the support period back to the time right after first and second periods. Tutorial was moved after third and fourth periods this year.
“We’re trying to decide whether four days a week of tutorial is best, or if 30 minutes is the right length for tutorial,” Osborn said. “We’re still getting additional input from the staff regarding the subject at this point in time.”
Students have expressed doubt about the proposal to offer student support only two times a week. Sophomore Yuna Oka pointed out the positive effects that daily tutorials have had on students.
“I think only having tutorial two times a week is a really bad idea,” Oka said. “Especially because a lot of people have to use it everyday to do homework and study for tests.”
But not all students agree.
“I wouldn’t mind if tutorial was changed to be twice a week for longer periods if it left more time for either lunch or if we could get out of school earlier,” freshman Iram Alam said.
Over the past few years, Cal has had various schedule changes, from the remote school year agenda to this year’s new B period. Many students have said that they favored the 21-22 year schedule, and wished that Cal could make a return to the late-start Wednesday schedule in particular.
“We had late start on Wednesdays, which worked for a lot of people,” junior Yusra Sulaiman said. “People could get some more rest, catch up on some sleep, especially if they stayed up late studying for a test.”
Oka agrees with Sulaiman. She also thought there have been negative effects on students by removing the late start Wednesdays.
“I’ve noticed this year that many students around me have been complaining about sleep deprivation,” Oka said. “This issue came up a lot more this year than last year, when we had those [late] Wednesdays.”
Staff also said a possible change next year that could become a success on campus is the addition of responsive scheduler, which would allow students to choose where they want to go for tutorial to better suit their academic needs.
Teachers are also hoping that this program could resolve the problem they’re facing keeping track of students during tutorial. Principles of Biomedical Sciences teacher Joanna Condon said this issue is mainly concerned with seniors.
“Some seniors will check themselves out at the start of the tutorial and leave,” Condon said. “That’s been problematic because if a certain number of students are not here during instructional time, it messes up our certification as a high school.”
Condon believes careful planning is necessary because tutorial in particular is important to the academic successes of students. She also said that if Cal can have a tutorial period with the right amount of time and parameters, it could benefit students in the long run.
“A longer tutorial may help with targeting students who need a bit more extra help and give them the time and the interventions that might be more meaningful for them,” Condon said.
Sulaiman agrees.
“Overall, this year’s bell schedule has been pretty OK and everything’s been working well,” Sulaiman said. “But I think extending student support a bit next year might make students feel more motivated to sit down, do their work, and utilize that time to help them succeed.”
When asked, students have expressed their own thoughts about what they hope could be implemented in next year’s schedule.
“Some changes that I hope to see are extended lunches or brunches,” Alam said. “I also liked the early release Wednesdays from this school year, so I hope they’ll keep that around for next year.”