Instead of the traditional seven-period schedule, a block schedule consists of three or four daily longer periods. In the alternate-day schedule, students and teachers meet every other day for a longer amount of time, as opposed to meeting every day for shorter amounts of time. However, there are other variations of block scheduling that vary from school to school.
The benefits of block scheduling include giving students more time to think and be engaged in learning in longer classes, a less hectic day of going back and forth between classes, and teachers get more instructional time for each class every day.
With the benefits, there are also some potential problems that are posed. For example, it is harder to make up class work after missing a day of school because the student is missing the equivalent of two days of instruction under the traditional system. This can cause the student to fall behind. Although block scheduling allows for longer class periods, students may not be as engaged in the lesson if they are to sit in the same room for so long, especially if the class is not interesting to the student.
Next year, Westside will be going to block scheduling. Based on this information, do you think it will end up being a solution or a problem?
--Kara Kelso, Whitnee Guthrie, & Haley Robinson