What’s the buzz with the new bells?

Maddie Hawes and Jack Rintoul

Is it a bird? Is it the French police? Is it an airplane attendant’s announcement? No, it is the new KHS bell system.

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, students around KHS were buzzing with comments about the new bells. Some were confused about why the bells changed in the first place. According to Dr. Michael Havener, principal, the old PA and bell system broke after _ years of use.  

“It’s more than just the bells: we have an entire new PA system,” Havener said. “Last year [the system] was down for about the last month. They finished [installing the new system] the day before school started.”

Havener said rewiring the system last-minute was not ideal. Every classroom in KHS is connected directly to the main office and most are individually wired. Havener said the person who installed the system had difficulty locating each room and rerouting the system.

“The PA system is a lot more complex than most people realize,” Havener said. “That system was pretty old and when it broke it wasn’t worth fixing.”

For the faculty and students, the most important element of the bells is that everyone can hear them. Dr. Amy Barker, English teacher, said loud hallways should not interfere with the clearness of the PA system.

“It’s really important that students know where they need to be and when they need to be there,”  Barker said. “The bells should help with this endeavor rather than muddy it.”

Students agree the bells need to be simple and make it easy to comprehend when class is starting and ending. Several returning students said they prefer the old bells to the new ones.

“The old bells sounded ugly,” Anna Retzlaff, junior, said. “But the new bells sound worse.”

The variety of bells is especially concerning, according to new students at KHS. Jacob Beasley, freshman, compared the KHS bells to the bells at NKMS.

“At [NKMS], there was only one bell,” Beasley said. “Now there are like five bells and I don’t know what any of them mean.”

Although the new bells have created miscommunication among the students and faculty, administration ensures that the bells will be better in the long run. They said they are determined to continue learning about the new system in order to make it as effective as possible for everyone on campus.

“Supposedly there’s a possibility that we could do some customized bells,” Havener said. “We’re not there yet but one of the things we could do is play music or even have music as a bell. I’m not sure how that would work but we haven’t learned all the tricks of the system yet.”