Absence of Bells Brings Confusion to Many


Image courtesy of Marguerite Marley

Marguerite Marley, Reporter

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 year, Novato High decided to get rid of their traditional bell system, until they didn’t. 

That one small change surprised many students on the first day of school. Those ear-splitting tones that alerted them before and after classes had not returned with them to campus. 

Many students had all sorts of opinions on the new system. The Swarm did a feature video on the subject.

When asked about having no bells, Senior John Callaway said “It sucks, because without it, the freshmen are so poorly trained.”

Novato High principal Mark Brewer commented on the change.

 “It creates a more calming environment. Bells are just so controlling. We’re the only system other than prisons that use bells; to me it feels very institutionalized,” Brewer said.

And that seemed to be the end of the discussion. Students learned to deal with it or enjoy it. Then, some of the bells returned the second week of school and people were more than a little confused. Now they only ring at the end of break and lunch.

“I think right now, there was a lot of pressure points around key times, like the beginning of the day,” said Brewer. “Kids are just super social, we just need something to trigger kids to get a start.”

“I like the modified bell schedule,” said senior River Evision-Berhrman, “because I feel like it goes off at the right times.”

Whatever students think, it seems like the modified bell schedule is here to stay. Evidently, some students will simply need to get used to going to school without all of the bells. 

“We’re trying this out for now, and it’s probably sometime this semester I’ll have a conversation with the faculty about how they felt about having no bells,” Brewer added. 

Maybe the current system will remain or maybe the bells will return in full. Until a final decision is made,  both students and teachers will continue to have mixed feelings about not having bells.

 (And this reporter will have to constantly Google when 3rd period ends.)