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The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Real or Rumor: A Chill Start to the Day

Maddie Cimino
The view each morning when students arrive at NPHS.

Beep. Beep. Beep. It’s 5:15 AM, time to wake up for school. After a long day, and staying up late to do homework, the beeping of an alarm is the last thing a high school student wants to hear. So when word of Blue Zone got out, many students rushed at the opportunity. 

Blue Zone, a potential addition to the North Penn schedule, is a different take on the changes that Souderton Area High School made leading into this school year. 

“It is a Lunch and Learn, but at the beginning of the day,” Principal Kyle Hassler stated. “it is designed for remediation [and to allow] a soft start for the morning.”

Depending on how you get to school, Blue Zone may or may not offer a new format for your school day. Those who use the bus as their mode of transportation every morning will be obligated to attend Blue Zone. 

Because the bus system can not change completely to accommodate the addition of Blue Zone, a variety of options will be offered for these students. 

“Buses would stay the same. We would have other things [students] could do, if they came on the bus,” Hassler stated. “They could go to see a teacher, we [might] have the gym open, [or] we might have the auditorium open with different things going on.”

With that being said, those who can drive themselves, or have a ride to school, would not be required to be at school until Blue Zone is over. 

The whole thought behind [Blue Zone] is to improve student mental health and also to give teachers time to work with students that are struggling

— NPHS Principal Mr. Kyle Hassler

“If you’re caught up on your work, you’re not struggling, and you’re doing well, do what’s best for your mental health,” Hassler stated.

Although the addition of Blue Zone would be in the morning, it requires the rest of the schedule at North Penn to be altered as well. This topic is a looming obstacle for administrators to get around as the duration of the school day has to stay the same. 

“If we could extend the day it would be great, and I probably would have proposed it already. But what we have to do, is we have to figure out exactly how to make it work within the 7:21 to 2:12 [day],” Hassler stated. “[In] the proposal we’re working on, Blue Zone is 7:20 to 8:00 AM, transitions stay the same, and then each period is 42 minutes long. We would probably cut Knight Time, and then we would just have an 8-period day.”

When this schedule proposal was brought to the attention of teachers, there was some push-back with the shortening of classes. Because classes are normally 45 minutes long, each class would potentially be 3 minutes shorter, which over the school year is a lot of instructional time being lost. 

Taking this into consideration, administrators went back to the drawing board and are exploring a variety of ways both instructional time and Blue Zone can be integrated at North Penn High School. This could mean only having Blue Zone on certain days of the cycle, however, nothing has been solidified at this point. 

Although the idea of Blue Zone has been floating through the halls for the last couple of months, there is no guarantee that Blue Zone will be in effect anytime soon.

“There are rumors of it starting in the first half of the year,” Hassler stated. There is no way we are getting all of this done by then. It’s still an idea, [and] we don’t even have a proposal yet. Realistically, if it were to happen this year, it wouldn’t be until the second semester,” Hassler continued.

There are a lot of steps that have to be taken for Blue Zone to go into effect. First, the administrative team (Mr. Hassler and the assistant principals) have to come up with a final proposal which then is taken to Dr. Bauer, North Penn’s Superintendent, and Mr. Nicholson, the Administrator for Secondary Education and Renovation. From there, it can then be taken to the North Penn School Board to be approved. 

Because there are so many steps that have to fall perfectly into place, Blue Zone is still very tentative. 

“There is no guarantee this is happening,” Hassler stated. “The decision at the end of it might be that there is no change. It sounds great in theory, but there [are] a whole lot of things we have to figure out.”

Hassler concluded his thoughts by stating, “If there are any questions, all [they] have to do is shoot an email, stop by the office, [or] give me a call and I would gladly sit down and answer [them].”

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  • W

    Willa MOct 8, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    Great article! It feels good to hear something about blue zone that isn’t a rumor. Though I don’t feel too great about crunching classes, an hour each morning to get things done would be a dream. I imagine, if it were implemented, there’d be a lot more students who would want to drive to school. Does NPHS have that parking capacity?