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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

Block Scheduling: A New Way of Learning

Pennridge High School
Krislyn Strohl
Pennridge High School

Looking back at high school, alumni might think of pencils on paper, gum under desks, or maybe even the ticking of the clock. No matter how hard or boring a class was, each student could stare off, dreaming about the moment the clock hit dismissal. With block scheduling, students will have to wait even longer for that clock to tick down. Pennridge High School students will begin learning in class periods that exceed 85 minutes long, a completely different timeline than the 50-minute classes students currently have.

Starting on the first day of the 2024-2025 school year, students will begin incorporating a new schedule that frames the day using blocks. Similarly to class periods, blocks give students a set amount of time for each class. The differences start at how much longer the blocks are than a regular class period. These longer classes bring up many concerns for the student body; for example, students looking to do dual enrollment classes or are taking classes at the Upper Bucks Technical School question how the new scheduling will impact their days. Seniors are also wondering how the block schedule will influence privileges such as late arrival or early release, where seniors can replace a period of their schedule with more time spent at home.

“I feel like I’m getting less out of it,” says Jordynn Popowicz, a student at Central Bucks South High School, a district that has already incorporated block scheduling in their schools. “It’s harder to focus for longer periods of time.” Students at Pennridge are also noticing how long the periods will be, as they become increasingly worried about that and the amount of breaks they’ll be getting, workload changes, and more. “It gives students more diverse transcripts,” says Cara Gurysh, the principal of the class of 2024. The newly approved schedule offers four blocks that either reach or exceed 85 minutes. In place of a study hall, the schedule allows time for a 20-minute flex period at the beginning of the day.

By incorporating this schedule, students are given the opportunity to have more time for college and career pathways, in-depth learning, and will be able to take more courses. Due to the extended amount of time in a block, a course that’s typically taught in a full school year is taught in just one semester. This means that students will have the opportunity to take a one-credit course, which would usually be completed in a full year, in one semester; this will allow them to take more credits worth of courses in a school year.

While block scheduling is definitely a foreign concept to Pennridge students, the benefits to it appear to outweigh the scheduling already set in place at Pennridge High School. While there are still some concerns as the district settles into this newly approved proposal, these concerns and questions will most likely be answered or subside.

Sources:
https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Af1ca56de-6ab6-35f7-b2f6-e3a89c12cec4
https://www.smore.com/640d2
https://www.smore.com/duzgw

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About the Contributor
Krislyn Strohl, Student Writer
Krislyn Strohl, Grade 12. Interests and hobbies include theatre, NHS, writing, SFX, exploring new places outdoors, cinematography, and hanging out with friends and family. Krislyn will attend college and major in Film Production as she aims to one day become a director and/or producer.

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