Opinion: LCHS Should Consider Returning to a Modified Block Schedule Next Year

Students+work+on+a+group+activity+during+a+shortened+class+period.

Students work on a group activity during a shortened class period.

LCHS has returned to a  full eight-period schedule for the 2021-22 school year. Classes are 43-minutes per class period, and many students would like to see longer and fewer classes each day.

While it is understandable that we need eight classes to help with credit recovery, electives and failures, the new schedule is causing huge stress on many students and teachers.

For some of us, the school day feels like we are on a merry-go-round that never stops.

Students who oppose the new schedule said they feel the pressure of the limited time. And, some teachers agree that with the limited class time, there is pressure.

We think the perfect compromise between long and short classes is to return to the modified block schedule of Monday, Tuesday and Friday for eight periods, and Wednesday and Thursday with the alternating 90-minute blocks.”

Of course, not all students and teachers dislike the schedule. Those who like the schedule say it gives them daily contact that helps keep them on track and focused. Some believe having daily contact allows students and teachers to build relationships. Finally, those who like the schedule change said they mainly like it because they dislike the long 90-minute class period because it is boring.

However, there are many of us who miss having the opportunity to have longer and fewer class periods.

Having longer class periods gave teachers more time to explain assignments, and it gave us time to learn more about whatever they are teaching. In a longer class period, we were able to digest what the teacher was saying and be able to apply the material.

Two years ago, LCHS blended the best of both world. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays were short, 45-minute class periods while Wednesdays and Thursdays were 90-minute block periods.

Students reported to 1, 3, 5, 7 plus lunch and advisory each Wednesday. Students reported to 2, 4, 6, 8 plus lunch and advisory each Thursday.

Having the alternating block scheduling days allowed students and teachers to focus on four periods for two days, and that was a welcome relief.

This allowed teachers to teach the material on the short days and give students the opportunity to learn things better and at a higher level on the longer class periods by doing labs, projects and activities.

When we were on the modified block schedule, we had fast content days and the longer 90-minute class periods. the teachers did not have to stress finishing the work because they had an hour and a half to do so. 

Our pre-Covid schedule worked a lot better for everyone. We were able to get to class on time and finish projects and assignments quicker.

 If we went back to four classes a day plus one lunch and advisory, it would be easier to find substitute coverage for four classes rather than eight.

We could all be happy with this compromise.