The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

Emily Short

As the end of the first mester approaches, students still have mixed feelings about the block schedule.

New block schedule’s benefits outweigh drawbacks for students

As the first mester of the school year slowly comes to a close, students start to reflect on the pros and cons of the newest change, their schedule. Students were surprised and confused when they first found out about their new schedule, to find out that not only will they have four classes a day but their time in class has been increased to an hour and a half. 

This new schedule, known as a block schedule or 4 x 4, can not only help students academically but can also help them if they have missed a required class or an elective. Finishing classes within a 10-week mester will help the students accomplish their requirements and have time to get extra classes for college or getting a job. Teachers also have an advantage with the new block schedule because they can now not stress about having to have a different lesson plan for the five to six classes they had every day. They can instead have less work to grade and they have more time to plan lessons for only the three to four classes they have a day. 

Though having cons, it seems the good outweighs the bad. When it comes to the 4 x 4 block schedule, it can really help students with some graduation requirements they might be missing and have many opportunities to make them up. There is not much of a  workload so students and teachers won’t be so stressed about doing or grading work. 

If teachers have extra time in their class, they can allow students to do their work and be productive, having them get their work done so that they not only have time to ask questions but won’t stress too much at home. Students would also have the opportunity to turn it in while still in class, so they don’t worry about doing homework at home or over the weekend. 

 The article “The Effects of Block Scheduling” by the American Association of School Administrators, or AASA, states that, “The majority of teachers, administrators, students and parents are favorable to block schedules even after the sometimes difficult period of change. Initially, teachers report feeling greater stress until they learn how to plan for and teach in an extended block of time, but eventually, both teachers and students report school becomes less stressful.” 

The article goes on to talk about how this new schedule can positively affect students’ grades and their performance in school. “Consistent evidence shows that students’ grades improve and the number of students on the honor roll increases. Some evidence suggests that both improvements are greater in 4 x 4 schools than in schools with six classes per day. Studies show declining failure rates in 4 x 4 schools and a greater likelihood that students labeled ‘at risk’ will remain in school, especially in the 4 x 4 schedule, probably because students may repeat several classes but still graduate with their classes,” the article states. This is good because it helps students ask for help from teachers and help troubled students understand the concepts better. 

This new schedule could be a pain for teachers, especially with all the information they have to teach in just one semester. The article “The Pros and Cons of Block Schedules” by ThoughtCo. states, “In the 4×4 schedule, it is especially difficult to cover the necessary material for Advanced Placement courses in the time allotted.” Having all of these cons, it’s not that hard to see why many staff and students are stressed about the new schedule. Other classes, such as AP courses last for the two mesters, while classes like English 9 are for four mesters.

With another school year coming and going, getting used to the new schedule is hard, especially when there is much change. However, when students start to adapt and understand the new block schedule, they can find themselves more at ease. 

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