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Pros and Cons of the Block Schedule

art courtesy of Andy Youngstrom

art courtesy of Andy Youngstrom

Max North, sports editor

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Edina High School will be making several changes for the 2017-18 school year, but the most significant might be the new schedule. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, students will go through a typical school day with seven periods, but Wednesdays and Thursdays will consist of a block schedule. On Wednesday, students will have their first, third, fifth, and seventh class for roughly an hour and a half each. Thursdays will begin with a structured flex period, where students can meet with teachers and work on assignments, followed by their second, fourth, and sixth hour classes. Will this new schedule benefit the students? The staff? EHS as a whole? Below is a sample schedule for an EHS student next year:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1 Spanish Spanish Spanish Flex Time Spanish
2 Biology Biology Ceramics Biology Biology
3 Ceramics Ceramics Ceramics
4 Pre-Calc Pre-Calc US Literature Pre-Calc Pre-Calc
5 US Literature US Literature US Literature
6 US History US History Band US History US History
7 Band Band Band

 

Pros:

  • The longer, blocked classes will gives teachers one day a week to create a longer lesson plan. This could be good for tests, science labs, presentations, in-class essays, or movies. Many students often feel rushed to finish a test, and therefore try to work faster than they need to and end up making mistakes. With an hour and a half instead of 50 minutes, students can take their time, and earn a better grade.
  • The structured flex period will be a great chance for students to meet with teachers, make up tests, and catch up on schoolwork. EHS already has a flex time, but it is more often used to relax and talk with friends rather than doing schoolwork.
  • Having some classes on Wednesday and some on Thursday will give students an extra day to complete their homework on those nights if they are busy with church, sports, or other activities.
  • Adding a seventh class to the school day with give students a chance to take another elective and potentially find something they are interested in taking in college.

Cons:

  • According to reference.com, the average High School student’s attention span is roughly 3-5 minutes for every year of their age. That is anywhere between 48 to 80 minutes for a 16-year-old. Having 90 minute classes twice a week will be very difficult for students to focus through lectures and activities.
  • Having seven classes a day is great because students can add an elective, but that also means seven classes of homework. An average student does three hours of homework per night, plus other activities, and another class will just contribute to the mess.
  • With just one flex time per week, students are losing 30 minutes every week from their current collaborative time, and that will give them fewer chances to make up tests and assignments.
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Pros and Cons of the Block Schedule