Another year, another new bell schedule

An inside look into the new bell schedule for the 2023-2024 school year

A new bell schedule for the 2023-2024 school year was approved.

Oak Park High School transitioned to its current schedule due to a law passed by Governor Newsom in 2019, which mandated high schools’ instructional minutes to count starting at 8:30 a.m.

OPHS students have expressed the mandate had the opposite impact. 

 “The intended effect isn’t happening; we aren’t getting the sleep that we need. I’m just so tired,” junior Ananya Pandit said. 

The approved 2023-2024 schedule seeks to shorten the day while providing academic opportunities for students.

The following information has been provided by the administration as of March 28.


 A new seventh period offering

An optional seventh period has been added to the schedule in order to accommodate most athletes. During the fall and spring semesters, varsity girls soccer and varsity boys basketball, and the spring, varsity/JV boys basketball, football and varsity softball, will be offered during periods 1-6 during their respective seasons. 


Support time returns

40 minutes of support time will be provided twice a week on Wednesday and alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Support time begins at 2:05. Students taking a seventh period have a 10-minute passing period before 2:55. The school day ends at 3:45 on support days for those taking  seventh period. 

On regular days, school ends at 2:35 for students who do not take a seventh and 3:35 for those who do.


Four options for free periods

Seniors are allowed to take a double free period if they are enrolled in a 7th period class, and periods 1-4. They can also take a double free in the morning if they are enrolled in periods 3-7. They may leave campus before 7th period but must return for their 7th period class. Juniors may take one free period, either in the morning or in the afternoon. The same rules apply. 


Zero-period implications 

Students in the past have chosen to take a zero period in order to qualify for the number of classes needed for a free period, however zero periods no longer count as instructional minutes.

 “In the past you could count zero periods towards the minimum requirement, but with the new law that is not an option. A seventh period is what would allow for the minimum of five classes,” said Smith.