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21-22 MHS Bell Schedule
David Drechsel
Friday, August 13, 2021

After reflecting and learning many lessons from the 2020-21 school year, Madison High School has designed a new and innovative bell schedule for 2021-22 that provides students the opportunity to attend a full day of school while offering some meaningful academic and social-emotional improvements.  The three primary features of this new schedule are:

1.  Increased Instructional Time in the Classroom:  Periods will increase to 55 minutes, a ten minute increase from last year’s modified schedule.

2.  Safe and Flexible Eating Options:  The design of our unit lunch cannot provide the required spacing needed in the spaces students would be expected to eat lunch.  As an alternative, the cafeteria will be open throughout the day for students to eat in a smaller group setting during their study hall or senior privilege.  Students without a study hall or senior privilege will be able to utilize a scheduled break in the middle of the day and the cafeteria will remain open for lunch at the end of the instructional day.  

3.  Additional Time for Support and Extracurricular Activities:  With the time normally designated for lunch moved to the end of the school day, students will have more time to meet with teachers or support staff in a smaller group setting.  In addition, spaces will be made available for students to complete work prior to practices and competitions.  Music lessons, college representative visits, club meetings, and wellness groups will be conducted during this time as well. 

  • Be mindful that the majority of students do not have zero period in their schedule and should report to school for a 7:45 am start.  We will assess the effectiveness of this schedule throughout the month of September and determine whether or not to make modifications moving forward.

  • The 21-22 Year at a Glance calendar identifies the corresponding letter day indicating what periods will meet.  On days labeled “no labs”, labs will not meet.  In place of their lab period, students should attend their physical education class or study hall, whatever occurs the same period as the lab.   For students whose physical education class does not fall in the same period as their lab and is instead paired with a study hall, students should attend their physical education class.  On all other calendar days, students should follow their assigned schedule.  This calendar is subject to change as the school year progresses.

We anticipate that students and families may have additional questions regarding the bell schedule.  We have attempted to answer the questions we believe may arise below:    

I’d prefer to eat my lunch at home and not stay in the building.  Can I leave at 1:45pm

Students are encouraged to utilize all of the support offered during the last hour of the school day, but will not be required to remain in the building after the last instructional block and may leave at 1:45pm without signing out of the building.  Keep in mind there will be occasions in which students are told they must stay until 2:45 pm.  This includes students who may be struggling academically, require extra time, or are missing assignments.  

I take the bus to and from school.  What time will buses leave from Madison High School in the afternoon?

Buses will not leave until 2:45pm.  If students who take the bus wish to leave prior to the scheduled departure time, they must arrange their own transportation.

I plan to stay at school at 1:45pm.  Where can I go?

The cafeteria will be open to all students at the end of the day for those wishing to eat.  The Media Center will be open to those students looking for a quiet place to work or read.  Band and orchestra lessons will be conducted in their assigned classrooms.  Clubs and other groups will meet during this time and the Guidance Department will be open for counseling services and college representative visits.  In addition, the majority of staff will be available to meet with students unless they are scheduled for their lunch or a duty during this time.       

Will locker rooms be available for those students who play a sport?

Yes.  Students are encouraged to drop off all equipment in their assigned locker rooms upon arrival to school.  Musical instruments can be dropped off in the appropriate classrooms.  In the afternoon, locker rooms will be opened no earlier than 2:45pm for students to change and pick up their equipment.  There will be no loitering in these areas.  Students will be expected to get ready for their practice or competition and leave the area once they are ready.  Practices and competitions for sports, theater, and other performance groups will not begin prior to 3:00pm.    

I have a job.  Does this schedule mean I can tell my employer I can start before 3:00pm?

No. The bell schedule can be changed at any time throughout the course of the year.  Anyone with a job should not start earlier than 3:00pm.  Students will be expected to be available during the final hour of the school day if needed.  

When my study hall falls during the first block, may I come to school late?  

Provided that a student has parent permission and arrives by 8:30am, students may come late to school if their study hall falls during the first block.  Parents must send an email to and state the following, “My child has permission to come late to school on an “A, B, C, or D” Day due to their study hall being first block”.  Upon arrival, students must sign in at the main office in order to be marked present for the day.  This includes any 12th grader whose senior privilege falls during the first block.

When my study hall falls during the last block, may I leave school early?

Provided that a student has parent permission, students may leave school early if their study hall falls during the last block of the day.  Parents must send an email to and state the following, “My child has permission to leave school early on an “A, B, C, or D” Day due to their study hall being the last block”.  Students must sign out in the main office unless they have senior privilege in their schedule.  No 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student should leave the building without permission.  

What will study hall look like?

All study halls will be assigned to the cafeteria.  Eight students will be permitted to sit spaced out at each of the approximately 20 cafeteria tables.  Breakfast will be served from 7:15 am - 10:00 am and lunch until 2:00 pm.  Granola bars, fruit, and other snacks will be sold throughout the day regardless of time.  Students must keep their masks on (under current guidance) unless they are eating.  If a student prefers a quiet space, a predetermined number of students will be permitted to relocate to the Media Center (no food will be permitted in the Media Center).  In addition, Math & English tutorials will be scheduled for students to attend while they are in study hall.  

What is Common Break?

The twenty minutes in between the third and fourth blocks provide staff and students an opportunity to reset before the three afternoon blocks.  Those students without a study hall during the day may stop in the cafeteria for a snack or quick bite to eat.  Those requiring a mask break may proceed to one of our two outdoor courtyards.  No student is permitted to leave campus during this time, unless they are a 12th grader with senior privilege connected to the break.         

Keep in mind, class meetings will be held the first three days of school to review all procedures and policies.  In addition, ninth grade students and those new to Madison are invited to an orientation on Thursday, August 26th.  Information regarding this event has been emailed separately to those families.

Additional information will be released in the coming weeks.  We look forward to welcoming everyone back.


David Drechsel


Madison High School