The return to block schedule

Exploring the benefits and drawbacks of traditional vs. block

Taylor Knifley, Staff Writer

For many years now Franklin has been on the block schedule. Block schedule consists of four classes a day, with each class lasting 85 minutes and a homeroom period for 40 minutes. This year, with COVID-19 being in the equation, Franklin went to traditional schedules.

Traditional schedule consists of eight classes a day, with each class lasting for 45 minutes. Because of our shortened schedule, classes last for 35 minutes this year. This has been a big change for the students and staff. Everyone was used to being able to sit in class for a long period of time and get their work done, but now everything feels rushed through. Classes, such as ag or PE, benefited from having longer periods.

Ashlynn Mahan, a freshman, shared some of the benefits she sees in block schedule. “When we are in longer class periods it gives us more of an opportunity to ask the teacher questions or work on extra homework,” Mahan stated.

Mr. Nelson, the Franklin ag teacher, has a lot of classes that benefit from the longer time frame. “The ability to utilize a block of time to work on labs/hands-on activities that take more than 30 minutes. Also, it allows more time for teachers to assist with students who may be struggling. It also is less stressful for students, who aren’t running around the school all day,” Mr. Nelson stated.

Even though the school is switching back to block, there were some benefits from having a somewhat traditional schedule this year. “Traditional schedule allows you to see all of your teachers in one day and you can rely on them being able to help you that day because you have their class,” Mahan shared.

Traditional scheduling hasn’t been easy to adjust to, but the students have made their way through it. Eva Smith, a junior, prefers to have the traditional schedule. “I like having the same class every day. The class periods aren’t as long which I like because it keeps you busy. Being able to see all of my teachers everyday helps if we have any homework questions,” Smith shared.

Not only is Franklin going back to the block schedule, but the homeroom period is coming back as well. “I very much like that homeroom will be brought back. It’s a great time to work on any extra homework for the next day and to get caught up with anything you missed or need help with. It gives the kids that participate in sports or extracurricular activities a chance to finish their work before school is over. I also would say that it’s a good time to socialize with some people, in a respectful manner, that you haven’t seen or want to talk to,” Mahan stated.

This year the students dismissed at 1:30 everyday with no homeroom at the end of the day. Next year it will go back to a 3:20 dismissal with homeroom at the end of the day. “I like the idea of having a homeroom. This is a great way for students to get caught up on any homework, or get assistance with any concepts they struggle with. As the FFA Advisor this is also beneficial to use for FFA Meetings, and sometimes leave a little early for contests. This is a benefit to all extracurriculars as they have time during the day to have meetings,” Mr. Nelson shared.