A/B block schedule versus eight period schedule: Prep students get a taste of the block life


January 12, 2016

Students at Prep have come to know a schedule unheard of by other schools. Eight periods a day at 43 minutes apiece has become a staple to students and teachers alike, giving them shorter class periods to work than other schools but allowing them to meet every day. Last week, however, Prep implemented a special block schedule due the the MAP testing, which was a refreshing change of pace for many students.

Both the eight period and block schedules have certain perks and downfalls for students and teachers.

The eight period schedule allows information to stay fresh in a student’s mind. Students are able to meet with their teachers every day to ask questions and to get smaller quantities of homework each night. The eight period schedule does not provide much variation from day to day. Some, however, would consider this a good thing because they get their study hall every day to work on homework. Senior Josh Kurczewski commented on Prep’s tradition eight period format, “This format makes the day go by quicker and chops it up more, keeping students moving and information flowing.”

The A/B block schedule was a pleasant surprise for many of the Prep students who were sick of the same schedule every day. Class lengths were nearly doubled, stretched from 43-minute periods to 84-minute blocks. The classes seemed too long for some some students, but having been used to the 43-minute classes doesn’t help the quick adjustment to doubling that time. Perhaps the best part about having block scheduling is the extra day to do homework in between classes. It takes a lot of stress out of getting homework done for the next day. Senior Tanner Ziacik says, “It gives students more of a college atmosphere, with more opportunity for help and to do homework, making teachers not feel rushed to cram in information.”

Whether you’re for or against block scheduling, you have to recognize the potential benefits of both sides. Mr. Hubert gave his knowledgeable contribution to the topic stating,”While there are pros and cons to both types of schedules, I ultimately would be in favor of an AB block schedule. As an English teacher, I see a lot of potential value added in the expanded block of time, especially when it comes to deepening class discussions and working with students on their writing assignments.” In the end it seems change is a long way away, but the week with block schedules at least gave the faculty something to discuss at their next meeting.

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