Recently, Barker Middle School transitioned to a new type of scheduling called block scheduling. This is quite a different way to schedule classes when compared to the original 45-minute classes. So what is block scheduling, and what is its purpose?
Block scheduling is where students have 75-minute periods, instead of 45-minute classes. The first important thing to know about this is that students have some classes every other day, and some classes every day.
A good majority of the time you will see classes like reading and math happening every day, and classes that are extracurriculars happening every other day. In the case of Barker, students take math and reading every day, and science, social studies, wellness, and their elective every other day.
This brings a little less time to the alternating classes, but a lot more focus to the ones taken every day. Also, there is usually more than one teacher for the classes taken everyday, which means smaller class sizes.
This leads us to the question, why would schools switch to block scheduling?
The purpose of block scheduling may not seem obvious at first, but it is actually beneficial in some school environments. First, schools switch to this scheduling to help teachers learn more about their students and help them with what they need. With longer class periods and smaller classes, teachers will learn more about their students, meaning they can better understand them and learn the areas in which they excel and struggle.
Another reason some schools switch to this form of scheduling is to give teachers fewer papers to grade. By doing this, teachers can get the grades back quicker. This also can give students a better idea in advance on how they are doing; that way they can worry about extra credit and things like that with enough time to get it done. Finally, another reason that schools make the switch is because it gives students more time to get things done like labs, projects and classwork. This can boost grades, so it is one of the most common reasons that schools switch to this type of scheduling.
In conclusion, block scheduling is currently having a positive impact on Barker Middle School. We are seeing students’ performance improving and the grades rising. Students are already being placed in different classes that meet their needs, and students are worrying less about their grades.
Hopefully it will continue to have a positive impact on Barker, and perhaps more schools in the future.
Madison Gresham is a student at Barker Middle School. In the Middle is a regular column produced by MCAS middle school students.