Planned rolling block schedule shows promise for the future

March 6, 2015 — by the third-period Falcon staff

After years of discussion about a possible switch to a full block schedule, the school recently made the decision to switch to the format in the 2016-2017. 

After years of discussion about a possible switch to a full block schedule, the school recently made the decision to switch to the format in the 2016-2017.

The schedule would repeat every two weeks; for example, if Day A is periods 1, 2, 3 and 4; and Day B is periods 5, 6, 7 and 8, then a rolling block schedule for the first week would be A, B, A, B and A. The second week would be B, A, B, A and B. Then, the schedule would reset.

Although these changes may seem complicated and unnecessary at first, they provide obvious benefits for both students and teachers. Under the full block schedule, students will have 90-minute classes every day, ensuring productivity and depth in each class.

In addition to the rolling block schedule, the changes will likely include an extra period and tutorial every week. This extra period would give the guidance department more flexibility in scheduling classes, and allow student athletes to avoid missing as many classes for games.

Best of all, the new schedule resolves is the inefficiency of the current Monday agenda. After doing warm-up exercises and announcements, most classes only have 30 minutes or less left of content before the bell rings. Half an hour is not enough time to give a complete lecture or teach a new topic, leaving students with only half the material they need to know. Mondays are also notoriously bad for testing with so little time on the clock.

In addition, the stress placed on students to finish homework for each class for Monday will be alleviated by the implementation of the full block schedule. Instead, homework will be due in only half of the classes, giving students with busy weekends an extra day for the rest of their homework.

Opponents of the full block schedule worry that the extra period will motivate students to take an eighth class, which would increase stress. However, if the administration enforces its vow that the extra period won’t be for more classes, this should not be an issue.

Additionally, some teachers may argue that they will not be able to have enough time to teach their students with only two meetings every other week. Nevertheless, since the other weeks will consist of three classes per week, it will average  2.5 classes per week, around what the schedule allows for now. The extra tutorial added to the new schedule will also allow for more individual help, if needed.

Although there are some uncertainties and risks with the new schedule, the change is a positive one, with the benefits outweighing the drawbacks.