Glenbard Changes Bell and Clock System


Clocks in the classroom now have the date.

Upon arriving at school after Spring Break, students are used to change. They see their friends’ new haircuts or they come back with an obvious tan. However, one thing that wasn’t expected to change was the bell and clock system. 

The text on the clocks is now smaller, and when a new class starts a message runs across the screen saying “Period _ is about to start” or “Period _ has started”.

Additionally, the bell chime has changed to a different sound. Nate Dhamers, the District 87 Director of Technology Services, said that when looking for a new chime, Glenbard wanted a more pleasant sound. 

“We tried to look for something that was a little bit more moderate and gentle. So the ones that you hear are actually the same that are used in a number of different hospitals for different sorts of alerts. So it was supposed to be informative, but not jarring,” Dhamers said. 

The system was mainly changed to prepare for Glenbard Hour which will be in place in the 2023-24 school year. Many students have found the new schedule to be complicated and confusing.

“For some people, they might need the extra reminder like, what day is it? What are we doing? Where are we going? We thought we should add in additional information,” said Dhamers. 

Before, every Glenbard school had a different bell schedule and chime. According to Dhamers, there are over 160 bell schedules. However, this new system has been implemented across all buildings. Although Dhamers praises the new system as organized and the bell chimes as calm, many students do not approve of the change, such as junior Natalie Witkowski. 

“If you’re in a loud classroom or not paying attention it’s hard to hear and I don’t like it,” she said. 

“Honestly the bell and the clock reminds me of an Indie horror game. I was so creeped out and it looks unsettling,” said Phoenix Fodrey, a sophomore. 

It has gotten so much backlash that a petition to change it back has circulated around Glenbard schools and has over 650 signatures. 

Amelia Buhle, a Glenbard South sophomore, started the petition. 

I started this petition because of numerous complaints from peers about how the sound does not convey any sense of urgency and is hard to hear,” She said. “I’m very glad that the petition has gained so much traction, and hopefully, these issues will catch the attention of others soon.” 

Dhamers said that he knows that change can always face backlash, especially at the end of the school year. However, if students feel strongly about the sound he said he is open to student submissions on new chimes. 

He said, “I’m always open to suggestions”.