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The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

New bells bring questions

Students+walk+to+class+after+the+bell+to+end+fourth+period.+The+new+bell+schedule+has+changed+the+ending+time+of+fourth+period+from+11%3A06+a.m.+to+11%3A05+a.m..
photo by Holly Smyers
Students walk to class after the bell to end fourth period. The new bell schedule has changed the ending time of fourth period from 11:06 a.m. to 11:05 a.m..

In the morning, it’s the dreaded sound telling you it’s time to get to class. In the afternoon, it’s the anticipated sound of freedom. Mostly though, bells are just a mundane part of student life. For most students, they don’t truly notice something until it changes, which is why many students were surprised when the bell was suddenly different this year. 

Many rumors spread about why exactly the sound of the bell changed. Some say the intercom was struck by lightning at this year’s Club Crawl, others say the sound was randomly deleted. In truth, the operating system is very old, and no one really knows the exact reason why it broke, but considering how old it is, it was not surprising according to the administration. What is known for sure is that the old file cannot be retrieved, leading to the change in the bell sound.

“One of the system boards broke two weeks before school started. The system is from the original Lawton Chiles Middle School, which used to be here, so it’s very old and we had to get used parts, which is why we can’t get our old bells back,” network specialist Jenifer Zizzo said.

According to principal Robert Frasca, the options for the new bell were limited. He and other administrators tested their options during teacher pre-planning, the week before school, allowing them to make their decision on which new sound to go with.

“We went with the best of the worst,” Frasca said. “We had limited options, and some of them sounded like you were taking a hearing test.”

Along with the issues on the sound of the bell, at times it now does not ring at all. This means there needs to be extra surveillance for the first weeks of school, including administrators, teachers and students.

“It gives me a little bit of anxiety. I am constantly watching my watch, like, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I hope the bell rings.’ It’s frustrating,” Zizzo said.

Along with the bell, both the main intercom and staff phones are also not working, for the same reason. This has caused teachers and staff to switch to the intercom made for the fire system, usually only meant for emergencies, but now used daily for announcements. 

 “We are in the process of updating the bell systems all over the county. We are just waiting to hear back from [county officials],” Zizzo said.

The sound of the bell is not the only thing that changed this year, but the timing of it too. The school schedule is a few minutes different from previous year, which may seem insignificant, but minutes were added to the first and second periods to make the block periods more equal in length.

There are a few reasons for this change, one of which being morning announcements. Teachers have discussed redistributing minutes from the third and fourth blocks to be added to the first and second periods, accounting for announcements and equalizing class time..

However, Mike Rice, the assistant superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools, was the main voice in this decision. In the event of a hurricane, it would be far harder to adjust the minutes correctly when every high school has a different schedule, so the period lengths were adjusted. Changes might continue to be made, as the goal is to have every high school in Seminole Country under the same schedule, but information of future adjustments are currently limited. 

This choice might seem insignificant, but, according to Frasca, it is important to realize changes are always made for a reason.

 “A lot of times things change and people don’t really know why, but there’s always more than somebody just deciding to change something,” Frasca said, “We do our best to make changes work. So, I think once everybody gets used to things it will just become commonplace.”

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Holly Smyers
Holly Smyers, Staff Reporter
Holly is a sophomore at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading and ice skating.
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