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Student Review: Block Scheduling

Dan Gomez, Writer

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The 2017-2018 school year at Cranford High School was the first year the high school had the block scheduling. Many students and staff at first complained a lot about the block scheduling due to how confusing it seemed at first. There were a lot of different aspects about the block scheduling that many people argued about or didn’t agree with. Some of the things about block scheduling that a lot of the staff didn’t like about was how on certain weeks some teachers would only have certain classes for 3 days that week. Specially for classes such as math and world language were students learn better through constant teaching and practicing. Other things that people did not like about the block scheduling was either how each class was an hour long or that you only saw 6 of your classes instead of 8 throughout each day.

The new block scheduling system at Cranford High School is a 4 day block schedule. There are days 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each class is about an hour long. The rotation can seem very confusing at first but after a couple of days most people started to catch a long and understand the rotation. The way the rotation works is that you always see 3 of your 4 morning classes and 3 of your 4 afternoon classes after lunch. The order of the classes in each day is based upon the day of the block scheduling. For example; if it is a day 1 then you would see your period 1, 2, and 3 classes in the morning, go to lunch, and then see your period 5, 6, and 7 classes. Period 1 is correlated to period 5, period 2 is correlated to period 6, period 3 is correlated to period 7, and period 4 is correlated to period 8. If it is a day 2 in the block schedule then you would start with period 2, 3, and 4, have lunch, and then period 6, 7, and 8. Throughout the month the days are rotated in numerical order from 1 to 4 and after day 4 it goes back to day 1 and continues on.

One of the main things that many people disagreed on about the new block scheduling is that now students would go from seeing every class every day of the week to weeks were they would only see certain classes 3 days for that week. This was considered a big problem for many teachers especially from the math and world language departments. Reason for that is because many math and world language teachers feel like students learn more and better when they are constantly learning and practicing. Switching to times that students would have the class from 5 days a week to 3 days week is a big default on those classes because then students are learning and practicing as often. Even though the classes are around 12 minutes longer than before, having the class less times a week than before effects how much teachers have to assign and teach throughout the week.

One aspect from the block scheduling that many students and teachers loved is the extension in the lunch time. Before students had to buy and eat their food within a half hour. Now students have to buy and eat their food within an entire hour. Since the lunch is so long it gave opportunities for clubs and students to see their teachers a lot more and during more convenient times instead of trying to figure out how to not have so many different events in clubs and sports all at the same time afterschool. Now students can go to club meetings during lunch and participate in sports after school. Seniors also now have the privilege of open campus during lunch or if their study period lines up next to lunch. Open campus gives seniors the privilege of leaving the school to go buy food outside of school or to go home during lunch. In order to keep track of everyone during open campus each student is assigned open campus cards which they must hand in every time day they leave for lunch and as soon as they come back from wherever they went.

I personally like the new block scheduling at Cranford High School. One of the big reasons why I like the block scheduling is because I am a senior when they first introduced the new schedule to the school. Therefore I’ve had the privilege of leaving the school either for an hour during lunch or even two hours when my study period lines up next to lunch based on the day of the block schedule. I also think that the difference in time duration of each class is not a very significant. Adding an extra 12 minutes to each class is barely noticeable during class therefore I don’t mind the fact that each class is longer. The only bad experience I’ve had from the block scheduling was in the beginning when everyone including the staff was still learning the schedule since the rotation is confusing at first but once two weeks passed I had already started to understand and get used to the new schedule.

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