Block trial gives promise for future scheduling

By: J1 reporter Delaney Kottke

003April

Q&A by Junior Sarah Wing

Marian has had a consistent schedule of eight classes for many years.

At the start of next school year, Marian will have modified block scheduling. The new schedule consists of eight classes on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and block scheduling on Wednesday and Thursday.

On block schedule days, students will have four 85 minuteclasses, 10 minute passing periods and a lunch period lasting 35 minutes. “It will take a while to adjust to it, but the beauty is having only two days with block scheduling and three days normal schedule,” assistant principal Mrs. Kathy Tompkins said.

A “test run” of this schedule took place during the week of Apr. 3-7. Principal Mrs. Susie Sullivan and the scheduling committee of teachers have been discussing this for a couple of years and have worked hard to make a decision on block scheduling.

Before the test run, junior Molly Miller said, “I’m excited about the new block scheduling because I think I will be able to have more time to ask teachers any questions. But I think the practice run is going to be pretty hectic to say the least.”After the test run, Miller said, “I really, really enjoyed it. It went way better than I thought it would. Pros: you had plenty of time to ask questions. Cons: if you had second lunch because 12:30 is a long wait!”

Many students agree that block scheduling is going to be beneficial because students will have extra time to work on labs and other in-class activities.

Other students believe block scheduling will have a negative impact because their attention spans may not be long enough to last 85 minutes.

During the week of the practice run, many girls found out the block schedule was full of potential. Students said they liked the 10-minute passing periods and not having to worry about being late to class.

“I expected girls to use their time wisely for the first 40 minutes and then after that I thought they would get a little chatty. It was not what I expected, the girls used their time wisely and were relaxed,” study hall moderator Mrs. Rhonda Ronspies said. This is a change for all students, faculty and staff.

There was lots of anticipation and tension about block scheduling, but overall, students and staff ended the week looking forward to the future schedule and brainstorming ways to tweak the timing to have it work to everyone’s advantage.

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