Is Block Scheduling Beneficial?

Sierra Rice, Reporter

This year Avant Garde Academy changed its daily class scheduling from seven classes, lasting about 42 minutes, every day to eight classes lasting one hour, 30 minutes each, with students attending four classes each day, alternating odd numbered classes and even numbered classes. This results in students having periods 1, 3, 5, and 7 one day, “A” day, and periods 2, 4, 6, and 8 the next, “B” day. Some AGA students say they like the new schedule, while others say they don’t like it at all.

“I like it because it makes it easier for us to focus on our classes and not have to do everything at once,” said Ashley Coronel, an AGA Junior.

Students also say they enjoy block scheduling because they have an extra day before the next class to complete home assignments and projects.

There is also more time to pass between classes: Last year students had only two minutes to change classes, this year they have five. This, students say, helps reduce overall stress.

Furthermore, students don’t need to carry around every book every day. Due to the longer class periods, students might have extra time to relax at the end of class and start their homework, which is also a factor that can potentially reduce stress. Some students need more time to complete class quizzes, assessments, midterms, and finals, and block scheduling has the ability to accommodate these students. Either way, quizzes often reflect the lesson(s) that the teacher covered recently and because of this, the tests will most likely be longer. Even students who are fast test takers will need the extra time that block scheduling permits. The students might also get all of their favorite classes in one day and they will have more time in those favorite periods, which makes students more inclined to learn.

Although block scheduling has many advantages that students like, there are also disadvantages to block scheduling that students say they don’t like. Block scheduling allows teachers to put more information onto the students. This can be both stressful and overwhelming. Although some students can, not all students are able to retain that much information at once. All the information will make the tests a lot harder and longer and will put undesired stress onto the students.

“I hate block schedule,” said Kaitlyn Schroeder, AGA Sophomore. The day feels like it goes by so slow: I like seeing every teacher every day because otherwise, I forget some things with the day in between classes, for example, math class is more difficult every other day.”

Along with this, if a teacher teaches their lesson at a pace that they would normally use for a normal eight-period schedule, they will have wasted time at the end of class. Contrary to that, if a teacher continues at their normal pace and continues teaching, they might cover too much information in one class and students will most likely forget what they covered when it comes to the next class day. This is also a disadvantage to students that are absent from school for whatever reason. Depending on the teacher and their teaching style, they might be willing to slow down and break down their lessons so that students can understand. This makes it very hard for students who enjoy going fast though. If a class goes too slow for a student, the student will become very bored and will be less likely to pay attention and remember the material. As a result of block scheduling not requiring students to bring every book each day, some students might use two backpacks, an A day backpack and a B day backpack. This leaves room for error. Students might accidentally grab the wrong backpack, leaving them with the wrong books for the day. Although block scheduling can be confusing for students, it can also be confusing for teachers. Some classes might be ahead of others and, because of the day between classes, teachers might forget what each class covered. This could result in a class covering the same material twice.

Ultimately, it’s up to students to decide whether they like it or not, but does it seem like block scheduling is better than normal scheduling or is it the other way around?