All block vs modified block

For the fourth straight year, your schedule will be different again


Audrey Nguyen/Bear Witness

Amanda Day and Vivian Trinh

Whether teachers adopt a modified block schedule we have right now or revert to the old schedule, what’s certain is that most classes will begin at 8:30 a.m. next school year due to a state law going taking effect then.

The debate over the change has drawn the attention of students such as juniors Marissa Pepitone, Elijah Bustamante, Sean Murphy, and Kendall Green, who have been part of the school’s Bell Schedule Committee.

Though teachers will be the ones who will vote on what their next schedule will look like, the students have helped pare down the eight proposals to two. The process has been an eye-opening experience for Pepitone, who has seen three schedule changes, one for each year in high school.

“Being only one of the four students on the bell schedule committee, it’s nice to be able to really understand the process of finding a schedule fit for every- one, and represent other students at the same time,” Pepitone said.

Their ultimate goal is to create a schedule that is most appropriate for the Branham high school community.

Since the start of the school year, several different surveys that were sent letting students, staff and parents sort out the placement of tutorials, outreach periods and whether there should be a see-all day.

The choices include: A modified block, similar to the current schedule, where students see all of their teachers on a certain day of the week. The rest of the week will be a block schedule. For students and teachers, an upside of this proposal was the ability to have a consistent schedule from week-to-week, though many have complained of the lack of consistency among teachers in utilizing the shorter see-all days.

The all-block schedule will have schedules vary from week-to-week, but classroom structures will remain consistent so that students and staff don’t have to adjust to one see-all day.

“Throughout the making of these schedules we were able to use our forms to get feedback from staff and students to create and choose which ones seem to be of benefit to others,” Pepitone said.

Pepitone said that teachers and administrators did most of the heavy lifting when it came to actually putting together a schedule, and teachers will have their final vote. However, the students were able to largely contribute to the decision making of schedules.

“Any questions about the schedule, such as how long lunches should be or tutorials, we were able to give our best opinion and many were able to agree with our ideas,” Pepitone said.

Meetings usually consist of overviewing the topics going to be discussed, covering any other schedule ideas, and breaking them down to the best possible configuration. The final two dis- cussed concluded options were labeled as an “All Block” and “Modified Block.” The “All Block,” meant we would have a block schedule every day.

With the new 8:30 a.m. requirement, school will end later regardless of the new schedule.

“It just sucks that the later that we go into school, the later we will get out,” she said.

At their latest staff meeting in February, teachers hashed out the pros and cons of both schedules, agreeing to vote in another straw poll. If they cannot agree on a schedule by the end of the month, the district has the option to step in to propose its own schedule.