Block scheduling arrives next year


Elder recently made an announcement regarding scheduling for next year. Not only will the school be adopting block scheduling, but schedules will also be aligned with Seton with extended lunch periods and include a flex period.

These changes are a lot to take in especially since changes to the day-to-day lives of Elder students rarely happen. Not only that, teachers will have to adjust their plans to fit different time periods as well.

Dr. Tucker is the mastermind behind Elder’s upcoming transition to block scheduling, so I decided to ask him for some more details.

“In general, there’s two advantages to moving to block scheduling: extended periods for classes like sciences and electives, and adding a flex period for various reasons. It also better reflects a college schedule because of the flexibility. Students will have to manage their time more like a college setting.”

The plan is for each week to have at least one 7 bell day, but some weeks can be 77347 or 73434 schedules depending on activities for that week. Days with blocked schedules will include a flex period.

Flex periods may consist of time for students to work, visit teachers, and visit their counselors. Also, activities like Mass, pep rallies, standardized testing, and adviser meetings will occur during flex periods. He said the flex period will occur at around 9:30 or at different times depending on the activities planned for that day. Dr. Tucker didn’t mention anything about limitations of the students during this flex time.

Also, beginning next year, Elder’s schedule will align with Seton’s making it possible for students from Elder to take classes at Seton and visa-versa.

“Seton has 11 classes we don’t offer and we have some they don’t offer. This gives students from both schools not only more course options but also more schedule flexibility if a course they want to take is only offered one bell at their school. Right now I’m looking into their Business Analytics and AP Biology classes at Seton that we don’t currently offer.”

Dr. Tucker also mentioned classes with not enough kids signed up can combine with each other making that course possible for the few that want to take it. On a separate note, he mentioned that lunch periods will be extended five whole minutes, a welcome change for many students. I then asked him about what caused these major changes and what had to be done to make it possible.

It’s all about whether or not it’ll benefit the students and staff, and although it’ll take some getting used to, we feel that these changes will do that.

— Dr. Tucker

“The biggest part was working everything out and making sure that we could do everything we wanted to do as far as flexibility and classes we could gain. The idea was proposed four years ago when Seton adopted it in 2013, but its really been in the works for Elder for the last two years. It’s all about whether or not it’ll benefit the students and staff, and although it’ll take some getting used to, we feel that these changes will do that.”

Opinions of students I’ve talked to are mixed so far. Many like the idea of having only a few bells a day, having the flex period, and changing up the schedule every so often. Others, however, disapprove because they feel that staying focused in class for an hour and half will be very challenging, and sitting through their least favorite classes for that long will be awful.

Keep in mind that all these changes aren’t coming until next year, so none of these even apply to the seniors, and the staff will have a lot of time to adjust everything to make it run smoothly.

Still, when next year rolls around, be ready for big changes in your daily classes and for managing your time in school.