Enough Time To Pass?

Frederick’s shorter passing periods aren’t working for all students


Owen Willis

The commons during passing period at Frederick High School. Over the past few years, passing period at Frederick High has gone from being 10 minutes to five minutes, and the teachers and students at Frederick High have mixed feelings about it.

Owen Willis, Social Media Manager

Over the past few years, Frederick High School’s passing period times have decreased from ten minutes to seven minutes, and then to the current length of five minutes. Students and teachers use the passing period to their advantage, whether that is getting materials ready for the next class, using the restroom, grabbing breakfast or lunch from the cafeteria, or just getting from one class to another.

Some students have concerns with the shortened length of the passing periods. They don’t feel that five minutes is long enough to get to and prepare for their next class, especially if they are traveling to or from the new wing. In addition, they express that the hallways can be very crowded and at times, which makes it difficult to walk through at a consistent speed.

“I believe that passing period is too short, mainly because if you had a class all the way across school you get pretty much zero breaks between walking across the school and getting into class, and I think that an extra couple of minutes would help tremendously with that,” says Riley McGroarty, a junior at Frederick High School. “Also, two or so minutes is a very minor impact on learning time in that class, so it would practically feel the same as it is now, just an extra few minutes to get ready for the next class,” he adds.

Some teachers agreed that there would be some benefits in adding a minute or two for passing periods. They feel that the extra time would give them more time to set up their classrooms, prepare classroom resources, and use the restroom before the start of their next class.

“I think it depends. For me, as a teacher, I feel like for passing periods I need like an extra minute or two because, in between classes, I am trying to get set up or trying projector screens, or if I have things on tables set up and then if I need to run and make a quick copy or run to the bathroom, there is just never enough time,” says Mrs. Katie Kelly, an English teacher at Frederick High. “So, I feel like it would be nice to have an extra minute or two but it’s not something that actively bothers me,” she adds.

While some teachers and students at Frederick High would like passing periods to be longer than five minutes, others feel that the passing periods are a good length and that there isn’t a need for them to be longer or shorter than they are currently.

“[Passing periods should] not [be] longer, because when [passing period used to be] ten minutes, then it went to seven minutes and those to me are way too long. So, definitely not longer, and I don’t think shorter either because the school is a little bigger, so I think that five minutes is good, it just depends on kids using the bathroom,” says Mr. Mark Allen, a Science teacher at Frederick High School.

I think passing periods have a pretty good time length, however, they don’t really provide much time to, say, use the restroom, and passing periods are when teachers want us to use the restroom, but there’s not enough time in there, especially when you’re going from one end of the school to the other,” says Lucas Howell, a freshman at Frederick High. “[However], if you don’t need to use the restroom or anything, they work pretty well for me,” he adds.

While many people at Frederick High have different opinions on whether they like the five minute passing periods, everyone agrees that passing periods are an important part of the day, since it gives students and teachers time to prepare for their next class and to quickly run errands within the building if needed.