Students react to implications of block scheduling

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The lunch line near the cafeteria can often stretch to the stairwell near the band room. The shortened lunch period is a potential issue for students, as the line can be lengthy even after the lunch period has started. Hannah Ewing (10), a daily lunch buyer, said, “[The shortened lunch period] doesn’t make much of a difference to me.” Photo By Quinn Murray

For two weeks in April the high school switched to block scheduling for state mandated testing. Other schools across the United States have already reformatted to a controversial new system, block scheduling

Block scheduling functions on the idea of having only three or four extended class periods instead of seven, shortened classes. According to the National Education Association (NEA), Oakwood has been practicing the “alternate day schedule” where students have eight classes and visit each class for 90 minutes every other day.

“I really like [block scheduling] because it seems like we have less homework,” Zach Brennaman (9) said.

According to the North Carolina Public Schools, less homework is only one of the many possible benefits of block scheduling. The four, longer classes a day lowers homework and test amounts per day. The larger chunks of time allow students to benefit from new teaching methods and less fragmented curriculum.

“I loved [block scheduling] because I am a vocational teacher and could do tons of labs,” teacher Michael Rado said.

While larger chunks of time allow for more in depth learning, students are still struggled with the change.

“I don’t want to sit in the same place for an hour and a half,” Kayla Spitzmiller (10) said.

Length aside, there are other issues. According to the NEA, The lack of daily contact can splinter a teacher’s lesson, and missing a day of school causes double the makeup work.

“Block scheduling decreased my ability to learn because the hour and a half long classes crams in too much information. Then, I forget it because I have a day in between classes,” Aidan Olsan (10) said.

According to North Carolina public schools, students do get more time with a teacher per class period, but they can see their teacher less overall. This increases the pace of classes and makes fitting some courses into a schoolyear, like an entire AP curriculum, extremely difficult.

By Quinn Murray

murray.quinn@oakwoodschools.org

 

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