It’s been a year and a half since the school left behind the blocked classes idea, in favor of all students attending every class for one period each day. This year, however, the administration is considering another option, an “AB Block” schedule in which students go to class for longer periods of time, but not necessarily every day.
Those who stand in favor of the revised schedule forget one crucial element of changing the day-to-day flow of the school day. Doing so disrupts the flow of programs that have been designed to work within the current schedule.
Production classes, like Arlingtonian and Kickin’ It Live, need to meet more than every other day. This schedule disrupts that.
Performance classes, like band and orchestra, may prefer to meet everyday to practice rather than allow breaks in between classes. The new schedule wouldn’t allow that, either.
This is not to say that the proposed schedule has no benefits. The new schedule offers greater time for office hours, a feature that many teachers and students alike have found helpful in the two years it has existed.
Some say, and rightfully so, that it could in certain circumstances reduce the homework pressure that students can sometimes feel. More often than not, however, that effect would be offset by a larger amount of homework assigned by teachers, perhaps even creating a net increase in homework pressure.
Additionally, a larger percentage of periods in any given class would have to contain tests or quizzes. This is not extra stress that students need, and is a problem that the new schedule has no plan to resolve.
This doesn’t mean that the schedule has to always remain as it is. The current schedule isn’t ideal and doesn’t give every class the best chance to fully incorporate its curriculum, like science and language classes, which may benefit from longer periods.
But this schedule corrects those problems while adding more. A system needs to be figured out that alleviates problems without creating them. But for now, we’ll just need to stick with what we’ve got.