Should drop scheduling be implemented at BHS?


Yasmine Khan and Carroll Berg

Drop scheduling should be implemented at BHS. 

Many schools use drop block scheduling and Bernards High School is considering to put this in place instead of the nine period schedule. If Bernards goes through with it, block scheduling will be beneficial to not only the students, but also the teachers. With dropping one class per day and rotating which class is dropped students would meet with classes four days a week instead of five. This would be really beneficial for students to get an extra day to do homework and study. It allows them to better focus on class because they won’t have to worry about all nine in one day. The class periods would be longer so it will give a more hands on experience instead of rushing forty two minute class periods.

If it is implemented, here would be one common lunch that would be one hour.  Students will be able to sit in certain areas of the school and eat and there would be different concession stands throughout these areas. With a one hour lunch there is more time for students to do homework, study, and go to teachers for extra help. Also, during this time their would be club and sport meetings so kids won’t have to stay after school. There would be more access to the media center and computer labs as well. Students usually want to go to the media center during lunch, but they only allow thirty kids per lunch period. With an hour lunch they could let more students into the media center because there wouldn’t be any study halls going on.

In the classrooms there would be more opportunities to get one-on-one time with the teacher.  If classes are big on a forty two minute class period the teacher can only get to so many students within that time. Longer classes can prove very beneficial to students and can be really useful so students don’t have to email their teacher and see when they have free time before, during, and after school to get extra help. Freshman William Clarkin used to go to a school where they had a similar schedule and he said, “Personally I believe the drop schedule allowed for greater application of knowledge for specific classes on a daily basis. You would not be flooded with every class and could give greater appreciation and focus to each subject. Dropping classes allowed the ability to make up work, see teachers, have extra studies, and end the day early. It was the perfect class system.”

Teachers will have time for the students to do more hands on labs instead of it just doing labs in science. Students can interact more with their peers and work in groups to complete projects. At the end of each school year teachers will always ask “What was the most beneficial unit we did?” or “Which unit do you think we should shorten?”  and they continue to say that there are too many field trips, breaks, shortened class periods, and with all that they don’t have enough time to complete everything that they want to within the the ten months that the students have of school. This would not only be beneficial to students but to teachers as well, so they can not only complete the curriculum but also have more time to engage students with more activities.

Waking up at the same time everyday and going to same exact classes at the same exact time five days a week feels like a routine and can get extremely boring, but with this schedule students will get to meet with their classes at different times of the day each day. This will change it up and doesn’t have to feel boring. There are many teachers who are on board with this new schedule, because it gives the teachers much more prep time for classes. It also allows more collaborative thinking and creative teaching techniques that the students will be more interested in doing instead doing the daily note taking and discussions. It gives teachers the opportunity to engage more students into the lesson and participate more.  Principal Neigel Scott has been working on this new schedule and although nothing is official he said “A rotate and drop schedule could be very beneficial for our students and staff members.  The schedule would provide teachers with  longer instructional periods that would improve instructional quality and opportunities for learning.  Also, students would not need to prepare for or attend every class every day.  The schedule would allow students to attend classes at different times of the day, which mitigates 1st and 9th period disruptions to classes.  Lastly, the schedule offers an opportunity for a common lunch period where all students can eat together or even meet with a club or a teacher.”  Overall having a drop block schedule would definitely be a change but a good change. It’s a great idea that could end up being extremely beneficial.  Teachers can pick more interesting and new ways to teach lessons and more one on one time. We need to get this new schedule implemented as soon as possible for the benefit of the students and the teachers. 

Yasmine Khan ‘2018

Drop schedule should not be implemented at BHS

What are reasons for absences? Maybe someone was sick, or went on vacation. Remember all the makeup work that had to be completed? With the new “block schedule” that the school is considering to  put into place, the amount of class time a student misses when absent is increased. Because of this, block scheduling will negatively impact a good portion of the student population.

Who could sit through an hour of the same subject? Freshman Max Clever said, ”I do not want to sit in class for that long because I will lose focus and interest in the topic. I prefer to learn multiple things each day and still be able to focus.”

Some could argue that the only reason school is mildly fun is because of the constant moving around. Sitting in a seat for an hour lesson can become unbearable for a number of students. Lessons may feel drawn out and stale for a number of students. After being absent from a day of school, students may find themselves witha stack of more and more work due for each class because of the longer periods.

Mr. Neigel, the principal of BHS, gave a quote about why he thinks block scheduling will have a positive impact on the school. He mentions how block scheduling is not only benificial for students but the teachers as well. While it is true that classes will become longer and provide more time for learning, as said before, lessons will become much longer, making it much more difficult for students who have trouble focusing. Mr. Neigel said, “Students would not need to prepare for or attend every class every day. The schedule would allow students to attend classes at different times of the day, which mitigates 1st and 9th period disruptions to classes.”

Another problem with block scheduling is how inconsistent it is. Organization Science says that, “inconsistency of organizational conditions affects people’s willingness to engage in experimentation.” To put it simple, inconsistency in a schedule system, such as block scheduling, could potentially cause a drop in participation in class, cause unnecessary conflicts between students and school, and above all, affect grades.

Consistency is key in helping students become successful and having a set schedule will help that. Not to mention that students will constantly be confused which classes are on which days. “Based on this reasoning, we suggest that inconsistent organizational conditions-when some support experimentation and others do not-inhibit experimentation behaviors” said  Organization Science. Freshman Eddie Berman said, “Block scheduling is really confusing; it’s different everyday, so I think I would forget a lot of my classes.” Eddy mentions another good point. The learning curve required to adjust to a whole new schedule may actually hurt students rather than being beneficial.

To wrap things up, block scheduling will not be beneficial for many Bernards High School students due to how inconsistent it is and the stacking of work due to absences. If the school starts using this system it can make school feel more drawn out for many students rather than help them get more work done.

Carroll Berg ‘2021