School considers new calendar, more late arrivals

illustration by Riley Gunderson

illustration by Riley Gunderson

Isabella Albrecht, staff reporter

The GBS administration is discussing the addition of more late arrivals in coming school years. GBS currently has four per semester, according to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel.

The discussion was brought about as part of an ongoing attempt to examine and affirm or update GBS practices, Cameron Muir, associate principal for educational instruction says.

“As [individuals] and as an organization, [we should be] looking at what we do and examining whether it’s the best practice,” Muir said. “If there is something that is a better practice that would serve our needs better, we should investigate that. It’s part of doing what we want to do to make sure that we are improving.”

Muir says that for late arrivals the administration is considering three main options: affirm the current number of late arrivals, add more late arrivals with a 10:00 start time, or add even more late arrivals with a slightly later start time than the usual 8:00.

According to Fagel, although there is a minimum requirement for the amount of time students must spend in school, adding more late arrivals would not interfere with that.

“The state of Illinois requires students to be in school 300 minutes a day, and that has to be instructional time, not passing periods and not lunch,” Fagel said. “We are at 360 minutes. Those extra minutes beyond 300, you bank those. It’s like depositing them into the bank and then you can withdraw from the bank for late arrivals. So we could, potentially, have a late arrival every week.”

Muir says the primary purpose of late arrivals is for teacher and all-staff meetings, and if the administration were to add more, they would be used for similar purposes.

“It’s really the one time where we can get all of our teachers together to collaborate over what it is they are doing,” Muir said. “This is an opportunity where they can actually look long term over the breadth and depth of the curriculum and have those conversations over content and instruction assessment and look at how that can best play for our students.”

Not only do late arrivals benefit the staff, they benefit the students as well, according to a non scientific survey of 300 students conducted by The Oracle. According to the survey, 89 percent of students think late arrivals are very beneficial. Additionally, 83 percent of those students think GBS should have more than the current number of late arrival days. This is consistent with research done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which stated in a study conducted in 2017 that 70 percent of high school students get seven hours of sleep or less regularly.

Senior Briana Sobecks says late arrivals benefit students who are not getting enough sleep during the school week.

“I normally get enough sleep, but I know people who really, really need more sleep, and the late arrival gives them a bit of extra time to sleep in and stay healthy,” Sobecks said.

Senior Taylor Flowers says that although late arrivals are beneficial to students, the number of late arrivals GBS currently has is sufficient.

“If [late arrivals] were more often, it wouldn’t feel like such a treat when it does happen,” Flowers said. “Now how we have it, it’s every once in a while and you don’t get into a routine of having late arrivals.”

According to senior Ariana Krbanjevic, there would also be other consequences associated with adding more late arrivals.

“If they did add more, we would have to give up some other privilege,” Krbanjevic said. “A lot of people want more days off, but we couldn’t allow more days off [if we added more late arrivals].”

Muir says that the conversation around late arrivals is just beginning and the administration has a lot of input to gather.