Block schedule causes mixed reactions


Jeff Legan's official Twitter account

Spanish teacher Oscar Sarmieno delivers instruction to in-person and remote learners during a 90-minute block class.

Mark Gombita, Guest Writer

The new block schedule is causing different opinions, with many students and staff enjoying it but others detesting it.

Chemistry teacher Christina McClure admits she enjoys the block schedule due to the increased productivity. She said, “I think it allows Zoom calls to be more efficient because you are not bouncing in and out in a 50-minute block; you are doing it in a 90-minute block.

“So, I think it gives students more time to learn instead of having to work on all of the assignments while coming in and out of a Zoom call,” she said.

Jashman Buttar enjoys the fact that he has more time to get his assignments and homework done during the 90-minute study hall periods. He said, “I feel like I can do better because the more time to do assignments allows me to actually put in my best work rather than rushing through the assignments sometimes.”

McClure also finds it easier to teach kids more content in less amount of days. She said, “Instead of dragging out content in three days, I can do it in one or two days, which is why I like it so much because I can be as efficient as possible. The block schedule gives me more time to do labs and activities each time I see the students.”

Another reason why many students and staff enjoy block scheduling is that they are finding themselves succeeding more and earning better grades, according to junior Manu Dhillon. He said, “I do find myself succeeding at block scheduling because I give my best of attention during class and try my hardest to maintain and keep a high GPA. I have been [also] studying in order to maintain [this] high GPA in my classes.”

Students and staff also have disagreements on the current block schedule, but McClure thinks this is not the main factor that is stressing students out during these trying times. She said, “I think [the stress] is having to upload everything into Schoology and making sure my virtual kids are getting the same lesson as my in-person kids, but it is all of the downloading that is taking up my time.”

However, Dhillon dislikes the amount of homework he receives during block scheduling because of the amount of stress it causes him. He said, “I receive more homework in 90-minute classes compared to 50-minute classes because we cover more topics as a class. So, the more topics we cover as a class, the more homework we get, too.”

Buttar also feels overwhelmed at some points during the 90-minute periods and would like a five-minute break. He said, “I enjoy [five-minute breaks] because we have been sitting down for quite a while and it is not healthy especially if you are remote sitting in front of a computer screen, so it just gives [us] time to stretch out.”

Instead of wanting to manipulate the block schedule, Dhillon would like to go back to the original eight-period schedule due to the length of each class period. He said, “I can’t sit through a class for the one hour and 30-minute duration since it may get very boring at times which also takes away your interest in the class at that time.”