USD 383 bell schedule changes

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

Next year’s bell schedule will be different due to the needs of upcoming construction projects.

With the new USD 383 bond passed in the fall, Manhattan High will eventually receive additions and renovations, as will both middle schools and some current elementary schools. A new elementary school is also being built in Blue Township.

“All schools have been asked to add 15 minutes per day to our current schedules,” principal Greg Hoyt said. “By doing this, all schools can meet the mandatory state minimum number of contact hours for the school year and the school year can be shortened by six days, giving construction teams more days of work without students and staff.”

For MHS, the new bell schedule will add two minutes to each class on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, classes will be 97 minutes long, with the exception of one 98-minute period, and passing periods on block days will be seven minutes instead of five. The school day will continue to begin at 7:40 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. instead of 2:50 p.m.

A concern in planning the new bell schedule is the impact on after-school activities.

“It should be a minimal impact,” Hoyt said. “We are just getting out 15 minutes later, so basically everything from practices to after school meetings would be moved back 15 minutes. It will not affect game times or performance times.”

Another concern one may have is how this schedule will affect the pace of classes.

“At first, [this change may] potentially [affect class pace],” sophomore principal Michael Dorst said. “I think there will be some classes that you may notice [the new pace] and some classes that … will be seamlessly implemented. I think [what] poses the biggest challenge is the six days of content that is placed [within teachers’] yearly outline [that will have to be redrafted]. How do you realign the same amount of content within the same amount of time, but on a shorter amount of days?”

As for construction matters, start dates have not yet been confirmed. However, the middle and elementary schools’ additions and renovations take precedence over high school construction.

This Thursday, architects, district and building leadership and teacher leadership will host their first building team meeting.

“We are working on an updated schedule that will have several changes from the initial schedule,” Assistant Superintendent Eric Reid said. “On our district website, there is [construction] information, including our preliminary schedule of projects. We should have an updated schedule by [this] week, and it will be on the website soon after.”

For more information on construction plans, go to