NEWS — November 15, 2016 at 5:03 am

Teachers vote to explore block schedule

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Proposed bell schedule by Principal Thompson for next year.
Proposed bell schedule by Principal Thompson for next year.

On Nov. 2, 78 percent of MSD teachers voted to explore the possibility of other bell schedules, including 4×4 AB block schedule, for the 2017-2018 school year. The final decision for block schedule will be made by teachers on Nov. 16.

Students will attend four 90-minute periods, rather than the current schedule of seven 50-minute periods. With the adoption of block schedule, classes will alternate every other day; students will have two nights and a personalization period to complete their homework.

“We get some more time to complete our assignments,” junior Sydney Tivoli said. “We will feel less stressed because we only will have classes every other day.”

With the personalization period, students have access to a teacher who can provide guidance regarding classes and grades. Students will not receive grades from their personalization period, but attendance is still required. Additionally, teachers have the option of teaching this personalization period, though it is not compulsory.

“I think the block schedule allows time for students to be able to have a life and not have to be locked into homework all night long,” Principal Ty Thompson said.

The schedule adjustment will make lunches to be 10 minutes longer than the usual 30-minute period, and some students may have different lunches on different days.

Students will have eight minutes to arrive at their class, rather than six minutes. Countless students rush to their classes and do not have time to use the restroom with the current schedule, so the extra two minutes can alleviate these issues.

With the increase of 40 minutes per period, teachers feel they have more potential in their lesson plans with block schedule. They also have a planning period everyday, which serves as more time to write more creative and interesting lessons.

“For teachers, I think the planning period is going to give them more time to get things done that they need,” psychology teacher Ronit Reoven said, “I think it’s going to give them more time to go through lessons, there are so many possibilities,”

Sixty-six percent of teachers must vote for the block schedule in order for it to be adopted. If the teachers vote yes, the school must have block schedule for at least two years. After two years, teachers have the ability to change to a different type of schedule.

“What we have now is much too tiring,” English teacher Donna Amelkin said, “We need a change; we need something that is positive and frees up some more time for teachers.”

It is possible for many changes to occur with the introduction to block schedule, Thompson along with administration plans to make changes if adjustments need to be made. Although the 2017-2018 school year could possibly be unfamiliar and different, but teachers and students anticipate it to be a new and positive change for the school.

Carly Novell is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She is an editor of The Eagle Eye and this is her second year on newspaper staff. Novell intends to pursue a career as a journalist in the future.

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