Periods or Blocks?

Alivia Caples, Staff Writer

From the moment I was labeled a new student at Whitehouse, I was introduced to the faculty here. Almost immediately, I was bombarded with information about the school; what it offered, how focused it was on teenagers’ needs, and first period starting later in the morning. At a glance, it seemed amazing and really beneficial. Everything was aimed to make things better for students’ future, but at what cost? 

We have eight classes a day, with first period starting at 7:50 a.m. and eighth period

 ending at 3:25 p.m. By the end of the day, students are overloaded with stressful work and a deep concern of whether they are passing their classes or not. A solution to this would be a block schedule. One day we would have four classes (A Days) and the next we have the other four different classes (B Days). The pros of this type of schedule outweigh the cons by far, since the school is more focused on electives than academics, and an A and B day schedule would better fit our needs. 

The main issue many people think about is how would an A and B day schedule fit the needs of career based electives. For example, Veterinary and Health Science programs’ clinical rotations. Since clinical rotations only apply to juniors and seniors, Freshmen and Sophomores would get more time to prepare for state testing or their other core classes, while upperclassmen focus on their rotations. Nothing would truly be affected in the class, and things would still run normally. The A and B day schedule would adjust to the student, so there would not be any complications dealing with classes.  If students are in vet tech., then Tuesdays would be on B days, so rotations could still happen. For example, let us say one class period is roughly around an hour and thirty minutes, so for a senior, after first and second period, the amount of time given to book versus field work would be decided between the two periods by the teacher.

Power Hour would still be around due to the multiple benefits it offers. Although, it would be after the third period, which means class time would be much longer in an A and B day schedule. Each class would be an hour and thirty minutes, but because of the increase in time, teachers would not have to load us with more homework, we can get access to more one on one time with them, and more time to understand the lesson. Keeping Power Hour is an extra precaution incase students do need tutorials or extra help that cannot be provided in class. Also, anyone who cannot stay after school to do clubs or tutoring could still utilize Power Hour for that need. Plus, this would have an effect on tests and quiz scores, leading them to increase, because students have more time to complete them and understand what they are learning, instead of rushing to get answers in the blanks. Students could still sleep in like they would normally do, and school would still end at 3:25p.m., but this way, we have somewhat of a break. There would no longer be eight classes worth of stress everyday. Those who have jobs after school or play sports can have the luxury of valuing their education without sacrificing their jobs. 

An A and B day schedule is a solution to many issues at Whitehouse, like the overbearing amount of work we have that seems to collect up by the end of the day or the constant struggle of spending all our time focusing on one class and forget about the others. It allows us to really sit down and grasp the idea of what we are learning. It opens the door to asking more questions and more time for tests and quizzes. Elective classes are still able to take place, so why is there not an A and B day schedule set up at Whitehouse?