Block scheduling should be blocked

Rumors have been floating around Central about a possible change to block scheduling for the 2022-2023 school year. Central is the only school in the district that does not have block scheduling and we should keep our nine-period day for the foreseeable future.

A block schedule includes four 90-minute class periods a day, along with a 45-minute lunch period. Central’s current schedule allows students to take nine class periods if they want, allowing students to take plenty of different electives. The opportunity for nine periods is especially important for students in the IB program: the IB diploma program requirements occupy eight periods, so the ninth allows IB students to take an elective that they care about. If we did not have a nine-period day, I wouldn’t be able to take newspaper- one of the classes that means the most to me.

Everyone learns in different ways. Some people thrive in block scheduled classes, and that is wonderful. The other 6 OPS schools can cater to students who enjoy block scheduling, but it’s important for the district to be able to support students who learn differently. It’s unfair and hypocritical to force all students to conform to one schedule, especially when we know that some students thrive with the traditional mine period schedule.

I have always struggled to focus during block periods. Ninety minutes is a long time to be in one subject, with one teacher and the same people. By the end of block periods, many students have completely lost focus and teachers struggle to maintain control of a classroom of bored, disengaged students.

Changing a schedule seems like a low priority compared to every other issue facing Central students and staff right now. Students and staff have experienced grief, difficult transitions and a total upending of our school customs and ways of life. We see the effects of these difficult transitions in the number of fights in the hallways and the struggle to get back to the school routine. We should allow students and teachers the opportunity to return to normal instead of forcing yet another transition on us.

I enjoy walking around during passing periods.  I appreciate the separation it gives me between classes and the opportunity to visit with friends and teachers I see on my way to my next class. Eight times a day, I love the opportunity to stretch my legs and walk. The nine period day works for many Central students. In fact, it’s the reason many people choose to attend Central over other OPS schools. It’s not fair for the district to force every high school student to learn the exact same way. We need to stop the advance of block scheduling on Central.