HHS to Experiment with Block Schedule

Last year the Committee on Program and Procedures(CPP) approved a trial run of block scheduling over the course of the 2018-19 school year. The block scheduling will run one week a month on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays following the normal class schedule. Tuesday will have only four hour and a half long classes: classes one, three, five, and seven. Wednesday will have the remaining three classes, along with an hour-long council period between periods four and six.

Last year, this idea was proposed by the administration to CPP. CPP is where teachers from all departments meet to make decisions about funding and procedure at this school. Science teachers have been pushing for longer periods to allow for completion of labs and longer assignments. When asked about how popular the motion was with CPP, Jonathan Li, a student representative on CPP, said: “The vast majority of teachers were all for this, and I believe no one was against.” So, when the vote was held, the motion was approved, and the trial schedule was set for this year.

The reviews of the new block scheduling plan are very mixed, with most students seemingly against it. The length of the classes is the main concern for most students. “There’s no way I can focus for an hour and a half straight,” said Jasmine Lou, a senior at HHS. Another concern is that the students coming from the middle school to take classes at HHS would not be able to make it for their full seventh-period class, and then they would have nothing to do on Wednesday when their class is not running as normal. Teachers were more open to the change. Many were neutral, but excited to at least try a different schedule, as there have been very few schedule changes in the past at HHS.  

Though most students appear to be against the new block schedule, it should be noted that there are some aspects that many would consider good for students. Since there are only three or four classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there should be less homework on those two nights. In addition, the new schedule makes it so students with athletic dismissals do not always miss the same class. The schedule also allows for a longer council period on Wednesdays, allowing more free time for students not on Council. In addition, it allows for labs and projects to be fully completed within one class period, a key reason for the initial suggestion for longer classes.

Those who are stressed that this will become a full-time schedule in the near future need not worry. Principal Justin Campbell called the one-week trials “purely an experiment” and said that they are not intended as a slow transition towards a permanent block schedule. The plan is to have a scheduling committee made up of parents, students, and staff meet to discuss the results of the experiment. Principal Campbell also said that students and staff will also be surveyed in regards to how they felt the first few trials went. The first week of block scheduling will start September 17th, with the modified days being the 18th and the 19th.

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