At a school as big as Berkeley High School, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With thousands of students, hundreds of class choices, and a wide array of classrooms, the task of preparing for a new year on campus can be highly stressful. Knowing what classes you have, who you have them with, and where they are can help students be equipped for whatever level of difficulty the year will present. Students receiving their schedules a week before school, and sometimes even later, negatively impacts their academic performance and mental health during the onset of the school year.
The beginning of the year is already a trying time for many students, with changes throughout all aspects of their lives during a big shift from summer to school. A return to heavy workloads and further responsibilities makes for a challenge that is only exacerbated by a lack of information. Mental and physical preparation is crucial to supporting students, and that’s only possible if they’re given the necessary time and knowledge.
For returning BHS students, class choices or possible teachers are often highly important to them, and they have pre-existing expectations for how their schedule or year will manifest. It’s nearly impossible for students to receive every class and every teacher that they want, and disappointment regarding their educational reality is even harder to tackle when they have no time to process. It’s no secret that some teachers and classes are more difficult than others, and part of students being able to thrive is them knowing what they’re walking into.
For new BHS students, the pressure of a new school is already very present. With no experience in the lovable, yet undeniably formidable environment of BHS, the beginning of the school year takes on even further weight. The difficulties of entering a new social sphere coalesce with the challenges of navigating a large and confusing school, making for a highly overwhelming time. ninth graders often experience a combination of anxiety and excitement leading up to their first week, and knowing what their year will look like can help to ground them. They have no idea what to expect from their time at BHS and have nothing to guide them without access to their schedules ahead of time.
Julius Rosenbach, a ninth grader in Hive 1, received his schedule three days before the first day of school. He recently graduated from a small private middle school which led to difficulties entering him into the Berkeley Unified School District system.
“It was just kind of annoying because I had to see everyone else who already got their schedules, and I didn’t know anything,” Rosenbach said.
If students received schedules earlier in the summer, more time would be available to troubleshoot the unavoidable issues that will arise during the process of assigning schedules to over 3,000 students. In addition to preparing students, notifying them of what changes they may want to make in their schedules earlier on allows for them to communicate with their counselors sooner rather than later. This extra time to prepare makes the workload easier for the counselors to manage as well.
Overall, schedules determine the course of a student’s school year, and the more time students have to know theirs, the more time they have to prepare to navigate their time at BHS.