The topic of whether or not we should change the bell schedule has come up again, with parents and students taking a survey on how they felt about the current schedule and whether or not there should be any changes. The questions asked whether we need more block days, fewer block days, or keep the amount the same. I think that the schedule should stay the same because the other schedules proposed would not work well with our needs as a school, and helps students keep in routine.
One proposed change to the schedule was to increase the number of block days. The use of a full block schedule has helped other schools, specifically with disciplinary issues. It’s great that this type of schedule brings down the stress levels in those schools. However, Principal David Grissom said that “It’s not such the case here because there just aren’t a ton of disciplinary issues here.”
Another benefit that people bring up is that more block days will reduce the workload for the students and increase student wellness. Students have a big workload at our school, especially with the hyperfocus on grades and getting into great colleges. Although this would be great for students and reducing the workload with less homework, this is a split issue with the teachers.
“There are certain disciplines that I think feel that they need to meet on a more regular basis,” Grissom said. “There are other disciplines that are actually pretty open to block schedules on a more regular basis.”
One benefit of the current bell schedule is that it helps students keep a routine. Since there are three relatively normal days and two block days consistently every week, it allows students to fall into a routine. This would be the same when a majority of us join the workforce, working with a consistent schedule. In addition, the block days allow us to learn how to manage our time in preparation for college, as many courses in college would not be every day. The two block days will allow us to plan our time better, while also being able to have a structured schedule with the 3 regular days to keep us in routine.
However, this schedule is not the best schedule that we can come up with, as there are issues that need to be addressed, such as student wellness and teacher meeting times. Later start times have been introduced to the state legislature in order to also help student wellness, but that does help our school with its issues.
“I think we’re getting closer and closer to [later start times], at least that, but that doesn’t solve our interests, the teachers’ interest of more time to collaborate,” Grissom said. “That wouldn’t solve that issue at all. That’s why I think it’s important for everybody [to]come to the table, and kind of figure out what direction we want to go.”