All you need to know about block, traditional, and hybrid schedules:
November 21, 2017
Block schedules allow for flexibility and personalization in class schedules. Your typical block schedule consists of four 90 minute class periods each semester. The novelty and adjustability offered by block schedule formatting have led schools all over the nation to adopt the new format.
With block schedules the workload students face with traditional schedule formatting is divided between two semesters. Four classes are completed in semester one and four others in semester two. This takes a lot of stress and anxiety out of students’ lives, allowing them to really focus on the four classes of that semester and improving test scores significantly.
The 90 minute class periods allow students and teachers to form relationships, which allows teachers to cater to students’ specific needs. The longer class periods also allow for more material to be covered each day. Students and teachers can really work through harder to grasp concepts instead of rushing to fit lessons into shorter time slots.
Some believe that block schedules are the way of the future. They cater to student and teacher needs that are otherwise ignored. Our world is changing rapidly, so should the way we educate.
Six to eight class periods, 45 minutes each, unchanging throughout the year. This is the traditional schedule practiced by public schools nationwide. It’s design is deliberate and effective, hence why it has been used for so long.
The traditional schedule format allows for a higher number of courses to be taught in a day. While some may argue that this gives students a harder work load, it actually spreads the work out over a year long period opposed to one semester. This allows teachers to focus more on each unit instead of having to fit a year long course into a single semester.
Each class period is kept to a reasonable time anywhere between 45 and 55 minutes, so that all six to eight periods can be fit into an 8 hour school day. These shorter class periods make it easier for students to focus; whereas with block schedules students are stuck in 90 minute class periods, where focus is easily lost.
One major facet that only traditional schedules cover is AP classes. With AP courses the set AP exams are held at the end of the school year. If a student were to take an AP class in a block schedule format first semester, they would be at a disadvantage when exams rolled around in May, a full semester after they finished the course. Traditional classes allow the students to learn the course material over a regular school year, with plenty of time to review before the exam.
Keeping schedules traditional provides consistency for students. They go to the same six to eight classes throughout the school year, not having to worry about their entire schedule changing halfway or ¼ through the year. Traditional schedules have worked thus far: some people don’t understand why we should fix something that isn’t broken.