The Wildcat Tribune

Is Extending Block Days a Good Idea?

Julia James, Staff Writer

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In all of my years of attending DVHS (around three), I’ve only had one year in which the schedule wasn’t operated on alternating block and regular days. A block day, one knows, is a day in which spend close to two hours in each class instead of the normal fifty four minutes, as well as having either three or four classes per day, depending on whether you take A period or not, instead of the usual six or seven. That objective, at first, appeared pointless. The concept of a ‘block day’ freshman year, alluded me. It seemed like a foreign idea and not a particularly pleasant or beneficial one at that. We were told of the reasoning behind the switch, but to me it was not a pressing subject that called for excitement. Ultimately, the decision on whether block schedule should be implemented at our school was not up to me, and come sophomore year, Tuesday and Wednesday became block days.

As it happens, the new block schedule proved to be very helpful when used in the right way. The right way meaning not taken advantage of and being used to its full capacity. Meaning getting things done on those two days in which we don’t have all of our classes, and not every assignment for every class is due the next day. We get those two extra days to catch up on sleep, get ahead on homework, or just manage all of the things going on in life. Block schedule is a savior in that aspect. All of the opportunities to get things accomplished in regard to school work is presented to us in the form of those two block days.We get access, late starts, and the three or four classes instead of the six or seven. Those slight changes in the day at first don’t appear to be particularly significant until eleven o’clock at night when you come to the realization that you’ve done all of your homework for tomorrow as well as some for the next day.

Being the junior that I am, I now very much understand why this year is called the hardest year—and it most definitely lives up to its name. We juniors load up on many AP’s, most of which are not at all easy A’s, but block days have made all of that coursework manageable and we highly appreciate that.

The extension of block days in the future would be favorable. This year, though, the switch from having block days start on Wednesdays as opposed to Tuesdays, has not been ideal. Terrible Tuesdays are harsh and there is no getting around that, based on how the schedule is set up this year. I propose, to those of you who are reading, that next year’s block schedule be extended to three times a week. Preferably Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays because those days hold the bulk of the week’s course load.

I believe that operating on a block schedule is a useful way to balance all the work that comes along with being a high schooler. Though there are some downfalls to block schedule, like having to spend what feels like an immensely long time in the somewhat less enjoyable classes, we all get through those classes each time. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages by far. There may be some technical adjusting to make the extended block schedule work, but nothing bad should come from the extension, only more opportunity to succeed and manage everything.

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Is Extending Block Days a Good Idea?