The Wayne BOE is schedule to vote on whether to adopt a block schedule for the 2019-20 school year, and school administrators have been holding parent forums during the past several weeks to gauge public sentiment on the move.
The vote is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2018. Block scheduling is becoming increasingly prominent in school systems, and Wayne Hills is no exception. WHHS is planning to implement block schedules, but what would that mean for students?
Rather than having nine 42-minute class periods, this new scheduling plan includes six 58-minute sessions with a common 54-minute lunch period for everyone. The gym can be set up with tables to account for everyone having lunch at the same time. Lab periods for science classes will be 20 minutes during lunch and there will also be a 4-day class rotation.
“I feel like maybe trying it [block schedules] and experimenting would overall be a good thing,” said sophomore Alyssa Miller.
Supporters of block scheduling believe that longer class periods give more time for active learning and lean away from the dated, “assembly line” style of education. Others disagree, arguing that teachers could simply continue lecturing for over an hour, making it difficult for students to keep focus during class. Also, one absence from school could mean more work missed for a class.
What do students at Hills think about the block scheduling plan?
“Attention spans aren’t long anymore. There’s more room to zone out,” said senior Annie Pascale. “It’s easier to forget information if you’re not repeating it every day.”
On the other hand, Miller acknowledges that “we would have less tests in a day and less homework to do at night… which is good with the stress and lack of sleep that we all experience.”
“Tests could be longer,” added junior Sarabeth Nemetz.
Sophomore Stella Park said “I honestly don’t know how I feel about it…I think we should just stick to what we’re doing.”
Many students are unsure or divided on this new plan, whose official commencement is unestablished.