District releases results to survey regarding bell schedule changes


Naomi Ichiriu

As part of the Mountain View-Los Altos School District’s monthly thought exchange feedback survey, the MVLA community was sent a form gathering opinions on the bell schedule.

The Mountain View–Los Altos District released the results to a survey garnering feedback on the current bell schedule for input on potential minor changes to the bell schedule Wednesday, December 8.

The current bell schedule follows a ABCBC structure — an “A” day includes all seven 45-minute periods, while “B” and “C” days include block periods that are 85 minutes each, alternating odd and even periods. The changes in the new bell schedule for this school year prompted the district to create a ThoughtExchange survey; the survey had 214 participants and 120 comments.

“Part of the agreement when the bell schedule was built in 2019 was that during its first year of implementation we would survey our students and staff to gather their feedback on this new schedule,” Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Teri Faught said.

Although there will be no changes made to the bell schedule for the 2021–22 school year, MVLA administrators will use the results to “determine IF and WHAT adjustments [to the bell schedule might be beneficial in the future.”

In the survey, when students were asked how to “create a student-centered bell schedule that supports teacher collaboration and innovation,” the most popular comments were mainly focused on the length of the school days and the ACT period, which is a time when students are able to work on assignments and make appointments with teachers. Students suggested making the school day shorter, and including optional ACT/tutorial periods at the end of the day or allowing students more freedom on where they could go for their ACT time.

Many thoughts were also shared about the ABCBC structure itself. According to student input from the survey, many students wanted a change in the bell schedule on Tuesdays, which includes the four odd periods, to reduce stress from homework load on Monday evenings. However, these changes might impact instructional time and may cause scheduling problems.

The results will be used by the district “to understand [MVLA] students and staff experience, needs, concerns, and benefits with the schedule,” according to Faught.