Beginning in the fall of 2016 Brien McMahon High School will be introducing a brand new concept regarding class scheduling. Next year students will experience the A/B Block schedule which constitutes of four 90 minutes classes rotating every other day.
The Connecticut State Department of Education has requested that instead of requiring the minimum 20 credits to graduate schools bump it up to 25 credits for the class of 2020. BMHS science teacher Mr. Seuch,who is on the block schedule committee, says that with the system currently used it would be nearly impossible to achieve those 25 credits.
Seuch states, “We have to have a system in place to meet that demand of 25 credits. By going with this block schedule we are able to offer eight true classes” Even so, he says that the Department of Education's request for more credits is a smaller motive for the schedule change.
“You get much more contact with a class, more student involvement,” he says, “...it’s a more quality education as opposed to quick lessons.”
“Most colleges work this way so we’re preparing them in this way.”said Seuch. There is great expectations and beliefs that once students get into the flow of the change they will really appreciate it.
Temi Kelly (‘17) doesn’t know what to expect about the change, she’s concerned that there will be a lot more work given to students. “A benefit is that we won't have every class everyday,” she says, “I’m hoping maybe I’ll like it more once we have it but I can hardly handle sitting through a 45 minute class let alone an hour and a half.”
Seuch did not rule out a possible test run of the system in the Spring.
However, there are other options on scheduling such as the drop system Norwalk High School has. The way this system works was explained by NHS student Jayda Cruz (‘16).
“We have a rotating schedule with periods one through eight and on day one you have periods one through seven, so you’re dropping a class every day” she said, “the next day of the week you start with the period you dropped the day before.”
Ultimately, there are several different options to choose from, but it’s how the students react towards the scheduling that will make a difference in how successful it is.
Cruz explained how much she liked the system at Norwalk High because of the constant change in schedule, “...it makes the day interesting, you don’t always have the same classes at the same time. It also gives me a chance to get work done for the class I drop.”