Anti-Block Day

Emma Lindahl, Staff Writer

Our school’s new block day schedule is doing more harm than good. Twice a week, we sit through four periods a day that seem never-ending. The shorter lunches and many student complaints should make it clear that these 85-minute classes aren’t helping us.

Block periods started trending in the 1990s after testing concluded that students in block schedules achieved higher marks in cross subject attainment than those in traditional schedules. These longer classes do have some benefits, as they allow for teachers to prepare for fewer courses while working with fewer students, and also present students with more time for  reasoning and absorbing material.

Although there are proven benefits of block days, the detrimental effects these longer classes have on students far outweigh the benefits. During these Wednesday and Thursday classes, class periods are 45 minutes longer than usual, so naturally students zone out and lose focus more frequently.

In addition, whenever teachers are absent on block days, substitutes must teach these longer periods, which means more busy work for us. Even when there isn’t a sub, teachers who haven’t yet adjusted to the longer periods may resort to assigning meaningless work instead of presenting more material in an effort to fill the extra time.

When it comes to the homework load, the assignments due on Wednesday and Thursday are typically more extensive and time consuming, presenting another challenge for students. Although some students can manage their homework load more effectively with the block schedules, many cannot. The often bulky assignments assigned on block days can present a significant hurdle to many students, and not having every class every day makes it hard to keep track of what needs to be done and when.

Another problem arises for students who have to miss school. If a student misses a day of block period classes, they are essentially missing the equivalent of two days of school in those four classes. Making up both the regular lessons, additional busy work, and the various labs and big group projects assigned on block days can be arduous for students and can cause them to fall behind faster than they would within the traditional school schedule.

The new block schedule is inefficient, and we should switch back to the traditional school schedule for every day of the week because students have trouble adjusting to the extra time in classes and the homework load that block days bring.