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Block schedule provides new opportunities

The+longer+class+period++allows+students+in+Spanish+class+to+enjoy+hands-on+activities%2C+such+as+recording+videos++of+conversations+to+review+later.+
The longer class period  allows students in Spanish class to enjoy hands-on activities, such as recording videos  of conversations to review later.

The longer class period allows students in Spanish class to enjoy hands-on activities, such as recording videos of conversations to review later.

Sarah Cheung

Sarah Cheung

The longer class period allows students in Spanish class to enjoy hands-on activities, such as recording videos of conversations to review later.

Sarah Cheung, Staff Writer

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On April 26 and April 27, the Carlmont schedule will be switched to a block schedule due to standardized testing. 

This change was made to allow sophomores and juniors to complete their CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) testing in English, science, and math.

The testing block schedule includes zero period for 55 minutes on both days. Then, the first day has additional periods one, three, and five for 105 minutes each. The second day consists of periods two, four, and six, also 105 minutes each. An 18-minute break and a 40-minute lunch provide gaps in between classes.

Many students have found that they get bored more easily because they know that they have so much extra time in each class.

Sophomore Kristen Chen said, “The long periods make it hard to focus and cause me to be less productive. Also, a later lunch makes me unable to concentrate because I’m hungry and I need a mental break to refresh my mind. To me, the added time doesn’t really mean more learning.”

However, others appreciate the extended periods because they allow students to do more at school and result in lighter homework loads.

Jade Margolis, a sophomore, said, “Though the classes seem long, it is less stressful regarding homework. I like having block schedule for the classes with a lot of work, such as AP European history. We have more time to finish lessons and ask questions without being rushed.”

The block schedule helps teachers facilitate lessons that center around active student engagement. ”

— Michael Vossen

Some teachers also enjoy the long class periods, such as Spanish teacher Michael Vossen.

“The block schedule helps teachers facilitate lessons that center around active student engagement. After teachers finish introducing new information, the ample time left in the period supports student learning with immediate opportunities to apply that new knowledge in hands-on activities,” said Vossen.

Different experiences and opinions make CAASPP testing season a melting pot of frustration, ease, and enrichment.

“The recent block schedule may feel more painful, but I think it’s just because teachers and students aren’t used to it,” said Lindsay Cho, a junior. “Block schedule is more similar to what classes are like in college, which could be helpful, but I understand how some might find it too long.”

What is your opinion on the CAASPP testing block schedule?

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Block schedule provides new opportunities