Block Schedule

The pros and cons of a new bell schedule has been the topic of conversation due to the recent bell schedule used for testing. While some believe that the transition is unnecessary, a block schedule would not only provide extra class time for core courses, but it would also allow students to enroll in a greater variety of courses and prepare students for college.

Almost all Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) high schools incorporate three to five classes a day for one hour and 30 minutes each, with the exception of a day or two per week that includes a traditional day of 50 minute classes. The block schedule would continue to integrate tutorial periods and homeroom classes; therefore, it would not mark a major shift from the current schedule. Sports teams would still be able to hold practices regularly, and off-season practices could be incorporated as well.

Furthermore, the opportunity to take more classes is open to students at several high schools in Irvine, where schedules can consist of up to eight classes. This could potentially allow for students to enroll in more classes and pursue their interests through an array of course options.

The entire purpose of high school is to prepare students for their future, which for many means college. High schools should therefore prepare students for the schedules which they will encounter at the college level, where they will have very similar schedules to block scheduling. Students will attend lectures for hours on end, yet several times a week. Thus, in order to ensure that students are completely prepared to enter the realm of university, high schools should prepare students for the block schedule by introducing the system to students during high school.

Teachers as well as students have varying opinions about implementing a block schedule. For many English and history teachers, longer class periods may prove to be more efficient because they allow for extra time to discuss class topics. With longer classes, history and English teachers are able to provide more in depth lessons. For subjects such as mathematics and science, traditional scheduling could be more effective for students to interact with the content on a daily basis

Block schedule could offer solution to this problem in the form of “modified block schedule,” which has been applied in many high schools across the U.S. Schools that have introduced the modified block schedule system allow for some classes, such as science and math, to be held daily, whereas other classes, such as history and English, are held every other day but for longer periods of time. Through this modified schedule, schools can cater to each specific subject, while preparing students for future collegiate experiences. Due to its versatility, the schedule is an effective way to give extra time to some classes while allowing for other classes to be held daily.

It is far overdue for Woodbridge High to replace the obsolete ‘six period a day’ schedule with a more modern and transitional block schedule. This change can ultimately serve to prepare students for their future career choices in both academic and sports.