Talk of block scheduling has been floating through the air at Westhill for several years now. Originally, it was going to be implemented for the 2018-2019 school year but was then pushed back to the 2019-2020 school year. Now, block scheduling has officially been moved to begin during the 2020 school year.
Block scheduling is a system in which there are A and B days, with four classes on one day and another four on the other, meaning students would have all of their classes within every two days. Each of the four class periods per day would be 80 minutes.
For the past few years, the school district has claimed that block scheduling will be implemented soon but then pushes it back due to negative reactions from faculty and students, as well as an overall sense of not being prepared for the transition.
This year, the school canceled the new scheduling system because of the fact that the school and certain curriculums were not prepared to begin having classes every day that run for 80 minutes.
“I don’t like block scheduling. I feel like in the long run it’s going to decrease class time and actually make school a less effective learning environment,” Kevin Harrington (’19) said.
Having block scheduling would allow teachers to have more time with their students per class, and students would have two days to complete their homework as opposed to the usual single evening to complete assignments. On top of this, students would get the chance to fit another class into their schedule, as students would be taking eight classes.
However, implementing 80-minute classes would be difficult on students and teachers alike, as students would have to keep their attention span high the entire day, and teachers would need to come up with lesson plans that take up the entire 80-minute block.
“I am disappointed that they canceled block scheduling for my senior year. I think that it would be good to have another class in [my schedule], especially because most other schools have eight periods in their schedule,” Kinga Berrent (’20) said.
Another factor which played into pushing back block scheduling was the fact that Stamford High also delayed the change. While AITE already uses block scheduling, Stamford High will be converting in the 2020 school year, as will Westhill.
Although the debate over scheduling has been overwhelming for students and faculty alike, the schedule will be staying the same for the 2019-2020 school year.