Farewell, 10-Minute Passing Period

By Kayla Lemens, Editor in Chief

Thanks to a schedule change, students at the West Bend High Schools are struggling to manage their time in between classes.

Last year, the passing time between classes extended from five to ten minutes so that teachers would have time to disinfect classroom desks as a pandemic safety measure. Resource period, a daily 30-minute block that allows students to choose which teacher to visit for help, was also cut out of the schedule to accommodate the longer passing time.

This year, though, the passing times have reverted to the traditional five minutes. Resource period has also returned.

The change from the luxury of 10-minute passing times is causing stress as students struggle to re-adjust to the shorter time frame.

“The halls have been much more clustered this year,” West senior Darick Fait said. “This is a result of both the increased number of non-virtual students and everyone being rushed due to decreased passing periods.”

The number of students who are virtual during the 2021-2022 school year has decreased, increasing the amount of students who are in person in the building.

“The 10-minute passing time was very useful as it helped me to unwind and prepare for my next class, whereas this year I feel as if I am being rushed to get from place to place and have no time to switch gears from one class to the other,” Fait said.

“I feel as if I am being rushed to get from place to place.”

Darick Fait, West senior

Some students are now asking the question, Will passing periods ever go back to 10 minutes?

“Because we added resource back into the schedule, there are no current plans to extend the passing times for the remainder of the school year,” East principal John Graf said.

Teachers may be divided on whether 10-minute passing periods are helpful, but many say that resource time allows for additional support for students and is important to have during the school day.

“I really fought for the return of resource time,” East science teacher Richard Prost said. “Kids in my classes really utilize that time, especially because it is built into the school day.”

“Now that we have resource again, I am remembering how nice it is to be able to complete things during the day so I do not have to stay after school or come into class during other times of the day so frequently,” West junior Sa’maia Evans said.

Not only does resource time allow students to place themselves where they believe they need the most help, but it also allows students to begin to plan their future beyond high school. 

“Every week, there will be built-in time for academic and career planning,” Graf said.

Mondays and Fridays are mandatory homebase days, which is where WBHS provides Xello lessons and activities to prepare students for life beyond high school. 

Xello is a program intended to assist students with college and career planning. Students have access to personality and interest quizzes, and receive recommendations about different programs and colleges that would best suit their interests. 

Currently, due to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction minute requirements, it appears that the passing times will be staying at five minutes, but that could change in years to come. Administration is now looking at options for a new high school schedule, which could potentially increase passing times to six minutes or more. 

(Top image: West Bend students quickly move through the hallway Wednesday as they hurry to their next class. Photo by Kayla Lemens, Editor in Chief.)

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