The Block Schedule: for Better or Worse?

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Sierra Wilson, Editor

Just this year, a block schedule of A and B days was enforced, replacing the old traditional schedule. The change has been a huge adjustment for everyone, whether that be students or staff. Though it’s still a new system for everyone, there are concerns of whether it will benefit the school or not.

The A and B block schedule is set up so that each students has four classes every day. These classes switch depending on whether it’s an A day or a B day. For example, if a student has Spanish 3 third period on an A day, they will have a different class third period on a B day.

Aaron Connor, a sophomore at Ashley Ridge High School, says, “I forget which day is an A and a B day, but other than that, [the schedule] is fine.” To him, the new schedule is easier because he has more time to do things in class. He’s no longer worried about the bell ringing in the middle of a project.

However, the new schedule makes it hard for him to retain information for tests. “I’ll study the night I get home from that class and then after two days, I’ve forgotten,” he says. Rather than going to the same class every day, students must now work harder to learn the information since there is a longer stretch between classes. This can be incredibly stressful and might affect grades.

Mrs. Carter, a biology teacher, says, “I think the new schedule has affected grades for the simple fact that students are forgetting to do homework … Especially with the younger kids, they just quite haven’t figured out this high school thing.”

For freshmen, the new adjustment can’t be easy. As Mrs. Carter has said, they don’t know when they’re supposed to study or if they should study every day, which can drastically change their grades. She goes on to say, “I feel like my students aren’t organized enough, so I do think it’s going to affect their grades because of the homework.”

Connor, however, has a different opinion about his grades. “[The schedule] kind of affects day-to-day [grades], but I don’t think it’s a big problem.” Overall, he likes the new schedule “mostly because of homework.”

What about teachers? How is the new schedule affecting them?

Mrs. Carter says, “I don’t have a lot of basis to go off of right now … however, I think block will be good for science.” She also believes that it makes her planning easier. “I can plan one thing for two days. However, it does make grading hard because we’re on the A/B schedule, which means I have more students to grade.”

Mrs. Hendershott, like Mrs. Carter, also prefers block schedule. “I think once I get my head around block, I’ll like block better because it’s really nice to have longer classes. It still feels like time flies; I still end up with things I have to do that I don’t get done, but once I get the hang of it, I’ll like it better.”

She goes on to say, “It’s a huge drawback for my time management and I am having a hard time with the A/B thing … we have to be really mindful that we not think, ‘oh, I’ve got 90 minutes, I have all the time in the world’ because we don’t have any more time than we’ve ever had.”

Both Mrs. Hendershott and Mrs. Carter think that the adjustment will be worth it in the end, though. “I think it’s going to end up being better, but I don’t feel like I’m there yet. I think I will be, but I haven’t totally made the leap,” Mrs. Hendershott says.

Mrs. Carter says that she had been pushing for and wanting block, but it’s been harder for her because she has a new class she’s never taught before.

To say the least, the block schedule is a difficult adjustment for both teachers and students. There are multiple unknown factors to take into consideration. Only time will tell if the block schedule is a good idea.