Block schedule is met with controversy


Kevin Shimizu

Block schedules can help students improve, but it comes with its downsides.

Kevin Shimizu, Staff Writer

For the past few weeks, students at Carlmont High School have experienced annual standardized testing periods that are accompanied by a two-day weekly block schedule. Instead of the usual 50-minute classes, students must now endure class periods that last for 105 minutes.

With longer periods, students gain some inherent benefits. Since they are given more class time, some students are able to utilize that time more efficiently in order to better understand certain topics.

In addition, student workloads for homework are noticeably reduced since classes only meet every other day.

“I really like [block periods],” said Sophia Stone, a sophomore. “I think it’s less of a homework load and kids are a lot less stressed with having less homework.”

Block schedule also provides benefits to athletes.

“It’s also easier for kids who play sports because you’re only missing one period rather than two every day,” said Stone, who also plays softball for Carlmont.

However, this does not apply to all students and many, in fact, dislike the extra time given to them in class.

“In my opinion, block periods just feel really long because some subjects get boring after a long time,” said Jeffrey Chan, a sophomore.

A block period essentially consists of two days worth of class in one, which prompts teachers to go over more content than usual. For some, this can provide difficulty as it requires students to retain larger amounts of information at once, something they are not used to.

“Some teachers also try to cram a lot of work in and it makes it difficult to keep up,” Chan said.

In a survey of 50 students at Carlmont, a majority of students prefer normal length periods over those of a block schedule.

During the next school year at Carlmont, a two-day block schedule will become a temporary part of the weekly timetable.

In a handout given out to Carlmont students about the new schedule for the 2019-2020 school year, the schools list the benefits that they wish to help students accomplish. However, it fails to provide what will be sacrificed.

This change from normal 50-minute periods to block periods is not limited to Carlmont. It has become a common occurrence in schools across the country, that argue that the benefits of a block schedule outweigh the drawbacks.

Whether or not students believe block schedule is beneficial or just an inconvenience, it is here to stay for now.