Is it time for the block schedule to go? – Neirad

The controversy surrounding the DHS block schedule is not new. When rumors that the traditional schedule would return next year started, the party was immediately taken. Whether you are pro-aligned or anti-aligned, there is no middle ground in this debate. I noticed that most of the underclassmen preferred the block schedule while some of the seniors preferred the traditional schedule.

For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past two years, the DHS block schedule consists of four 90-minute blocks each day instead of seven or eight 40-minute blocks. Classes are held daily and rotate throughout our eight-mail schedule. It’s easy to see both sides of the argument but the so-called correct answer is different for everyone.

Some people are happy with the idea that next school year we will be under the block schedule again, others not so much (Doug Milne Distinctive Properties)

One of the main reasons why many people prefer a block schedule is flexibility when it comes to due dates and homework. Because classes meet daily, students and teachers have two days to get their work done instead of cramming it all into one night.

Stamford Public Schools also have a block schedule and their website says a block schedule “offers a personalized and flexible schedule for students to meet learning needs.”

Quinn Kennedy, a freshman on the women’s university lacrosse team, says the schedule helps her manage her busy sports schedule and schoolwork. “Because I have homework to do every two days, it makes it easier for me to do it a little, then go to practice and do more the next day and vice versa. If I don’t have one day to do my work, for example if I have a game, I can do it the next day which is very convenient,” said Kennedy.

Block schedules help students and teachers alike manage their time and assignments. Under the traditional schedule with homework to be completed every night, students had to stay up late to finish their work and study. I’m sure most of you know that thousands and thousands of studies have shown that sleep deprivation is extremely harmful to growing teens. . While due dates may seem insignificant, they can actually have a huge impact on a lot of people.

“If I don’t have one day to do my work, for example if I have a game, I can do it the next day which is very convenient”

— Quinn Kennedy, Class 9

Aligning with homework, students feel like block schedules result in less stress for everyone. Since many students at DHS are heavily involved in sports and various other activities, they do not have much free time to complete their homework in one day. With late training and even slower play, many athletes struggle to manage their time in athletics and academics. Many student-athletes I spoke with said they would feel much more stressed coming home after a long game to do more homework late at night. They are tired, tired, and tired. The last thing they want to do is have more homework to do the next day.

History teacher Ms. Cathy Fulton, who has been a teacher for 15 years (7 at DHS), prefers a slower-paced block schedule to the traditional fast-paced schedule. “Students know they only have four targeted classes per day, sometimes even fewer if some are free. Also with longer class times, only teachers have more time with students in a day and you can build connections. You can get more done without feeling overwhelmed, like you’re rushing from one class to the next. I find the speed of getting everything done in 50 minutes really fast, and that’s with homework every night. We also take a break to be more social, whereas in the short class there is no time to rest,” said Ms. Fulton.

Will Dehmel pose on the DHS skybridge?
Block Schedule allows more time for students to relax during free periods there (Rajiv Pujara)

Ms. Fulton also agrees that he has seen less stress when it comes to homework. Sports and school take a lot of time out of students’ lives during the school year, block schedules help relieve stress by giving students more leeway.

When freshmen first came to DHS in the fall, many had never experienced a block schedule before and wondered, how can I focus for 90 minutes? Many of the students I spoke to had easy days and hard days under schedule. On their hard days, they have four straight 90-minute classes, the only break being lunch. It may seem pretty brutal, but their easy days make up for it. An easy day usually has 2 core classes, and then the rest of the day consists of a study, free, or gym or mini lab. Most students believe that they focus better under a hectic schedule because they have one hard day when they really need to focus and then the next day is an easy day to relax. Many teachers, such as Ms. Fulton, prefers the slower pace of having only 4 classes in one day as opposed to trying to manage 7 classes in one day.

When I asked Kennedy and Ms. Fulton schedule what they want next year, they both say that they tend to have block schedules.

School Classroom
Evidence shows that block schedules can reduce behavioral problems in students (Wilson)

With the decision to eliminate possible schedule blocks for the 2022-23 school year, many students and teachers are hesitant to make the switch. While there are some drawbacks, such as difficult recovery from absenteeism, the benefits of block scheduling far outweigh the negatives. Additionally, research from AASA shows that discipline referrals to the office typically decrease by 25-50% under block. Evidence also shows that school suspensions are reduced and student and teacher attendance is higher. At first glance, the traditional schedule may seem more logical. Before experiencing the block schedule, I was thinking the same thing. But after going through both schedules, I can confidently say that blocking is much more effective and makes sense. The benefits are almost limitless: homework must be submitted daily, longer classes, extended time for taking assessments, more connections, less cramming, a more relaxed schedule for students and teachers. Not to mention the block schedule benefits children with learning difficulties such as ADHD or dyslexia who need extra time to focus in class. The block schedule is not only profitable for all, it is simply the most sensible option.

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