Passing Time Cut to Three Minutes


The passing period at RMHS has been shortened to three minutes for the ’22-’23 school year to accommodate a new early-release schedule.

As the school year began, students were abruptly exposed to a decreased passing time for the first time in years at RMHS.  No warning of the new three-minute passing time was given to the student body, as it was only displayed in the updated schedule that students received upon their return to school.

Principal Tracey explained why this new change was taking place stating, “Every high school/secondary school in the state is required to have a certain number of hours of learning,” and adding that this new passing time was added in order to make Friday early releases change from 2:00 to 1:00 to give more time for teachers’ professional development. But, this reduction in class time on one Friday per month left RMHS under the state’s required nine-hundred-ninety learning hours.  “In order to get that one-o’clock dismissal we had to move the passing time from four minutes to three minutes on paper.” 

Despite the unannounced change to the schedule, the one-minute cut from passing time did not go unnoticed by students. Senior Mae Squeglia stated her concerns with the new passing time. “Last year I had the same thing where I came from the field house and had to walk all the way up to the fourth floor and I would make it, but now every time I do that I am late to class.” Mae also expressed how for the majority of her classes this year, she either “gets there right on time or is a few seconds late.” 

Mr. Tracey said that the lack of an email was “not purposeful in any way” and stressed that he wasn’t intending to withhold any information from students.  He added that the faculty were similarly unaware of the change until they returned back to school.

Distant classes are not uncommon for the student body.   The writers of this article timed the walk from the fourth floor to the field house in a full hallway.  It took over five minutes to go from Mrs. Bailey’s room on the furthest end of the fourth floor to Mr. Mooney’s room in the field house.  Even when the hallway was completely empty it still took nearly three and a half minutes to go the same distance.  

Students have not been the only ones who have had to adapt to the new passing time.  Ms. Bailey of the history department said, “I think that the mindset of teachers has changed…teachers have decided that they need to have a soft start to class” and not start a test or an important assignment right when the bell rings.  Mr. Mooney of the math department said he is “much more forgiving” towards late students than he was in previous years.

When asked what Mrs. Bailey and Mr. Mooney believed was a reasonable amount of time for students to get to class, both teachers said that there should be more time and not less time.  Mrs. Bailey said, “…a ten minute passing time but we have fewer of them” in order for students to be able to use the bathroom, collect things from their locker, and talk with their friends so they are less inclined to when they get to class.  Mr. Mooney said, “Five minutes at least, just because the school is so big.”  Although there are different suggestions for what is a reasonable time to get between classes, the general sentiment among teachers is that students should have at least five minutes, giving them enough time to get themselves sorted before their next class.