How Does Block Scheduling Stack Up?

Olivia Vinson, Reporter

Wantagh High School has always divided its days into 9 periods with an additional 5-minute homeroom. Some schools have adapted to a new system called Block Scheduling. Their day is divided into three or four 80-minute intervals. Classes meet on alternating days.

There are many supporting arguments for this type of schedule. According to the Glossary Of Education Reform, “Teachers are able to utilize more varied or innovative instructional techniques when class periods are longer…” Teachers and students may also find relief in their work-load. Teachers don’t have the pressure of preparing for many class or the rush of grading. Students don’t have loads of classes to keep up with and complete their work for each night. Blocks also allows class more time for actual teaching instead of class management. Critics of the system say that it makes remaining attentive in class more difficult. Eighty minutes is a long duration of time. Students have trouble staying focused for 40 minutes. Parents are also concerned with the fact that if a student misses school, they will fall behind on a significant amount of work.

“… [Blocks are] good because kids in high school are usually busier than middle schoolers and it’s a better learning environment because you’re not constantly getting up and moving to another class every 40 minutes so it’s easier to concentrate,” said a student from an Upstate New York School that has block scheduling. She also mentioned that when taking a test it’s nice to have an hour to finish tests. In middle school, the student experienced the same schedule style as Wantagh does now. She said that she likes her current schedule better because there is more time to learn in a Block than there is a period and because there are less classes in a single day.

Will Wantagh ever convert to Block Scheduling?