K pod to A pod? 4 minutes just not enough


Rachel Rosenblatt

NPHS students make their way through backpack to backpack traffic during passing time.

TOWAMENCIN – When I received my schedule for my senior year, my heart dropped. I was facing one of the worst journeys a NPHS student can face; a walk from third floor K-Pod to second floor A-Pod.

I tried to convince myself that this would not be a big deal. It was just a walk, right? I wanted to tough it out, prove that a long walk would not hold me back from getting from class to class. I held out a stupid, pointless hope that everything would turn out fine.

It was not fine.

I have never reached my second period class before the bell rings. No matter which route I take, no matter how fast I try to walk, I have never made it there on time.

Not only are the hallways narrow, but the four minutes in between periods does not leave me much time to deal with the various difficulties one faces in the NPHS hallway.

There are clogs of students at certain intersections where people simply just stop walking for no apparent reason. Sometimes, there are five friends who all walk in an impenetrable line, even though the hallway is barely wide enough to fit them. This then forces anyone who may dare to walk in the opposite direction to squeeze against the wall in a depressingly sluggish single-file line. Personally, I thought I had left single-file lines behind in elementary school.

There are little ways to avoid being late. I can’t pack up early because teachers want us to work hard until the bell rings, but by the time I have put away my books and my Chromebook I have wasted at least ten to twenty seconds. Those ten to twenty seconds might be all I need to successfully reach A-Pod on time.

For an entire week I timed my walk from the moment I stepped out of my first period to the moment I stepped into my second period. Every single recorded time is over four minutes, and this does not even include the precious seconds I spend putting my books away. My shortest time was an impressive 4:21, but my longest time was 4:50.

For an entire week I timed my walk from the moment I stepped out of my first period to the moment I stepped into my second period. Every single recorded time is over four minutes”

— Rachel Rosenblatt

Senior Jillian Phillips also timed her walk from third floor K-Pod to first floor C-Pod; a similarly daunting trip to make every single day.

“I did it in 4:35. And I was running, I was trying to hurry, and I still did not make it until 4:35,” Phillips lamented. Despite her best efforts, she was perpetually late, much like me and many other NPHS students.

I understand that if someone lucks out with classes next door to each other, that person may only require one minute to get from class to class. They can take their time, unpack their books at their leisure. But our school is too big to believe that this is the case for everyone. Most students have lengthy journeys between classes and are forced to hustle through the halls. I believe five minutes between classes may be all we need for all students, even the ones who’s journey takes them from one corner of the high school to the other, to reach their class on time.

“One of the things we always have to keep in the back of our mind is the number of instructional minutes that are required of high school students,” NPHS principal, Mr. Pete Nicholson replied when asked about the possibility of adding another minute between each period.

Since students need those specific instructional minutes, the bell schedule can be a tricky thing to alter. Some NPHS students may scoff at this, due to the changes over the past three years when we transitioned from two 9th periods a week to Knight Time and 8B.

“Knight Time is considered an instructional time period, as is 8B. Prior to that, it was 9th period. None of those changes in all affected any of the instructional minutes that we have,” Nicholson explained.

So, changing our schedule to add an extra minute between classes would not be as easy as taking a minute from each period, because we need those instructional minutes. This topic deserves more discussion, so that if changes are possible they can be reached. Not for the kids who go from first floor E-Pod to second floor E-Pod, but for the kids who are late, even if it is not their fault.