Head to head: pros to the seven block schedule

Betsy Toft

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Next year we are in for yet another change; from block scheduling to a 7 period day. I was in the district when the high school went from a 6 period day to block scheduling. Most of the complaints were the same. The current block schedule was good for some classes and horrible for others. The same will probably happen with the seven block schedule as well.

I won’t speak for any teacher other than myself, but I’m looking forward to the new schedule. Instead of cramming a year into a semester (and depending on the semester, leaving out material for the time restraints) I can spread out my lessons and add new things which I had no time for before.

We are supposedly getting quite a bit of extra teaching time. More time to spend on concepts which, hopefully, can be parcelled out in smaller doses so students can succeed. For those of us who teach consecutive classes, there should be less lapse of time between levels. Hopefully that will mean less “loss of memory” on the part of students.

      Students, what does this mean for you?  Well, maybe you won’t get all the classes you want to take (talk to a teacher of the class and see if they will teach you as an independent study, or, if you get enough other students, zero hour.) But, students, think of it this way: what was once a year class crammed into a semester, is now back to a full year. All the homework, studying, whatever you were doing, is now going to be drawn out into smaller pieces. No more cramming at the last minute to finish that project, study for your AP classes AND find time for “regular” classes AFTER you spend hours in a club or sport. Your workload SHOULD decrease.  

When I went to school here, back in the Middle Ages, we had 6 periods a day and I took band, art classes, 2 foreign language classes (1 for 3 years, the other for 2 years), 4 English classes, my math, science, etc. and still had openings for other electives. Yes, I know, some of you have based your long term plan on the block schedule and classes you were going to take might have to be cut. Part of becoming an adult is making hard decisions. Sorry if that sounds cold.

I figure, after the first year of this schedule, we will re-evaluate it and make some adjustments. Maybe some year-long electives can be cut to a semester, maybe AP classes will be blocked so all the information can be covered–who knows?