Block schedule: to praise or forget


Current bell schedule

Mia Hogan, Staff Writer

This week all Sequoia High School Union District sophomores with a few upperclassman took the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) leading to a block schedule on March 18 and 19.

To graduate high school and receive a diploma, all students are required to pass this test.

Current bell schedule
Current bell schedule

The CAHSEE evaluates student’s reading, writing, and math abilities. Passing the test ensures that students have mastered the grade level skills.

According to the California Department of Education’s website, “California created the test to improve student achievement in high school.”

The first opportunity to take the test is during semester two, and it is proctored to all sophomores along with students who failed to pass from previous years. In junior year, students have two chances to pass the section previously failed. As a senior, students have three to five chances to pass the sections missed.

In previous years, Carlmont had a regular school schedule while the test was administered causing students to miss class the first half of school on both days.

This year administration agreed on a block schedule, where students participating in the CAHSEE examination went to school in the morning, and the rest of students came for the second half of the day.

Sophomore Abbey Holbrook said, “I like the new schedule. On top of taking an agonizing three hour long test on two days, I would have two days worth of make-up work.”

Having a block schedule is very appealing to test takers, however freshman and students who have passed are upset.

Senior Michelle Guan said, “The testing schedule for the CAHSEE was a drag. I find no point of coming to school for two 40 minute periods then going back home.”

With a taste of block schedule, some students want to adopt it. Neighboring schools such as Menlo Atherton and Aragon use the block schedule on a regular basis. Students do not visit each class everyday, but periods length is extended.

Holbrook said, “I prefer a block schedule. Even though periods are longer, will have less tests in a day. This year, there were a few days where I had four test and quizes on the same day. Under a block schedule, classes are spaced out, giving more time for homework and time to review new concepts.”

“The block schedule would be dreary. Imagine sitting in that one class you hate for two hours straight. I find it unimaginable and tortuous. Keeping the schedule the way it is now is the way to go,” said sophomore Alex Singer.