Extended school days starting 2016

For students at Kerr High School, 2:20 PM means the tedious school day is over, buses are waiting on the canopy for the short drive to Taylor High School, and cars are lined up in the front of the school; but a new Texas law—effective starting next semester—will add 10 minutes to the school day, changing the schedule on the back of our handy-dandy IDs.

Students attending public Texas schools are now required to be in school for 75,600 minutes of instruction. Before, schools counted instruction by days, with the state requiring 180 days. With the change in the law to minutes, many schools, including Kerr, discovered they would be missing hours of required instruction each year.

Beginning in January, the warning bell for advisory will sound at 7:10 AM and students will be expected to be in advisory by 7:15 AM. Five minutes will be added to 4th period, making the dismissal time 2:25 PM.

The new schedule was not taken lightly by students like junior Alyson Lam, who says she often comes late in the morning.

“I don’t even know because I already get so much tardies, and [the new schedule] will just give me more tardies,” she said. “I live 15 minutes away.”

However, the new schedule won’t affect the number of tardies they receive after all. Advisory may begin at 7:15 AM, but a student will not be counted tardy until 7:20 AM.

Freshmen Brandon Toledo was a bit more disappointed about hearing the change in schedule.

“I feel robbed. I don’t like it. Five minutes count [in the morning]. Every minute counts,” Toledo said.

“Texas is wrong. Texas needs to fix it. Tell the governor. Why do they want more tardies? Think about people who have to wake up early. Think about people who have to walk here. They have a certain schedule and this will mess it up. It takes ten minutes to do my hair. So now I can’t fix my hair.”

English teacher Ms. Angela Andrews took a more optimistic approach to the news that upset many students.

“I think that—o f course I’m disappointed that it’s in the middle of the year. If we had started in the beginning of the year with it we probably would adjust to it just fine,” she said. “It’s always stressful when you change things in the middle of the year but we’re flexible and that’s what Kerr is all about changing and going with the flow and learning and being better than the way we were before.”

The new schedule will be effective on January 5.