It’s been over a semester since Mr. Tucker and the Curriculum Committee unveiled the new block schedule. The complex block schedule introduced longer classes, varied school days, and more school activities including Life Prep and Common Classroom.
Overall, most students seem to enjoy the new schedule, because it lightens their workload. A senior says, “Overall I like the new schedule better because last year’s schedule was exhausting. Now I have to do less homework per night on block days.” Soham M. (’18) and Arden D. (‘18) agree, saying “We like the new schedule because we have to do less work.”
The block schedule also changes up potentially monotonous day to day routines – Suah O. (’19) says, “I like the new schedule more because it doesn’t feel as much as a routine or a burden to go to all your classes. In middle school we had the same schedule we had in freshman year, so I was getting really tired of that.
However, almost everyone agrees that there are some downsides to the new schedule. One common criticism was to go all the way and eliminate short blocks completely. Zara F. (‘17) says, “I like the new schedule a lot better but I think that if they’re going to do block days, do all blocks because the two-week rotations are too hard to deal with, and teachers get used to assigning enough homework for two nights and they do the same on days where we have all our classes. I like the long blocks because there’s more time to go in depth about things, like in AP Bio we get to watch a video and have a lecture. But I did have some 75 minute tests like in French…”
Grant K. (‘19) agrees, saying “I like the new schedule more but it would be better if it were all blocks, because the non-block days have a lot of homework because they don’t plan their week based on when the block days are.”
As for the school activities, Grant K. (‘19) says, “I don’t like Common Classroom, it should be optional. The classes aren’t very fun, usually. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of planning going into it.” Ana B. (‘19) agrees, saying, “Common Classroom is meh. I’d rather do homework, or have break, or a break where clubs meet. It shouldn’t be mandatory, because I don’t have a lot of time to do homework at home.”
Maya M. (‘18) “I’m really frustrated that debate-related activities can’t happen during Common Classroom, because I feel like that would be a valuable use of time and allow me to pursue something I’m interested in. I think the classes can be interesting and engaging sometimes, but there isn’t always something that I’m interested in. Life Prep I think has had some valuable classes, but again, sometimes I feel like the limit isn’t helpful, and I think first semester had more interesting classes. Also, breaklets are useless.”
Although there were some criticisms of the new school activities and the mixture of short blocks with long blocks, most students I interviewed ultimately preferred the block schedule over the old schedule – the initial aversion to change many felt at the beginning of this year has proven to be ill-founded.