Next year Harrisonville High School’s schedule might be changing. We will be going to a modified block schedule. People have very different opinions on this.
The modified block will be set up with Monday, Tuesday, and Friday as normal days (8, 45 minute classes a day). On Wednesday we will have 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th hours; each class will be about 90 minutes instead of 45 minutes. Thursdays we will have 2nd, 6th and 8th hours.
Teachers have different opinions on this. Typically art and science teachers are excited about getting more time for projects labs and simply learning. Math teachers not so much; most math teachers teach for 20 to 30 minutes and the rest of the class time is working on homework. An hour of work time will have students messing around and not doing being productive.
“Other departments will have to adjust how things have traditionally been done to get the best use of the class time. Kids that are not motivated in a class and don’t work, will now be in class causing distractions for longer periods of time…….UHG,” said Becky Bruns, ceramics teacher.
Despite this concern, Bruns is very excited about how this schedule will allow more productivity in her department. With the current schedule ceramic students can only get about 25 minutes to work on their projects with all the setup and clean up time. The block schedule will allow a full hour of work, allowing kids to finish projects on time and put more work into it and therefore more detail.
This benefit is basically the same when it comes to labs conducted in science courses.
“For science classes, block scheduling is generally a big positive. Forty-five minutes is barely enough time to run a class with a lab. Many labs can’t be stopped and started if not finished by the end of the period. The most important part of the lab, processing the data and experience at the end, is often left out until the next class period, but with 90 minutes it can take place right at the end of the lab while students’ perceptions of the lab are still fresh in their minds,” said John Magoffin.
Generally students are not happy about the block; most students would rather not spend an hour and a half in a math class.
“I don’t like it; it’s easier to lose focus,” said Junior Andrew Collins.
The block schedule is a big change for our school. Only time will tell if that change is good or bad.