Since the 2020-2021 school year, the school has been under a block schedule, but there may be various changes soon. Upcoming testing may cause changes to the schedule with there being three consecutive days of even classes and three consecutive days of odd classes.
The block schedule has been set in place since 2020 and 2023 will make this the third year that block the schedule has been used. It began during the year covid impacted the world and school had to be done through zoom. In the block schedule, there are eight classes that students have to take, which is two more classes compared to the old schedule in the 2019-2020 school year. The classes are split into a set of four classes each day where students have odd and even days. The order in which these days occur can be found on the home page of the Huntington Park High School website in the slideshow and under “Daily Events.” While this schedule has been used for quite some time, students and teachers have mixed feelings about it.
Before block schedule, classes were 59 minutes long (excluding advisory), but now, classes are longer by about 20 minutes, making them a total of 81 minutes. Even the time school starts and ends have changed compared to three years ago. These days, school starts later but as a result, it also ends later. The school would begin at 8:00 a.m., starting with 1st period and then advisory. Now, school begins at 8:30 a.m. with advisory as the first class.
“I used to prefer the old schedule, but now I’m half and half with the block schedule. I feel like you have more time to work, but if you miss a day then you miss a lot of work,” Anonymous senior.
There are positive and negative feelings toward block schedules for a number of reasons. Some students prefer a block schedule because it allows them to take more classes that they are interested in. The schedule opens up more opportunities to follow their passions and even try out new things. It also appears to be easier to handle all of their classes split into two days, rather than having to worry about every class each day. The schedule gives students more time to finish homework and manage their time to ensure they keep up with their classes.
Although there are those who enjoy block schedules, others find that it can be quite frustrating at times. Students may find it difficult to adapt to the schedule if they were used to a different schedule, such as incoming students or 2023 seniors who experienced the old schedule during the 2019-2020 school year. For those who are taking an AP class, some students find it difficult to prepare for their AP exams since there is not enough time to cover all the material.
Teachers also find that the block schedule has its ups and downs. The schedule allows teachers to finish most lessons in one class period. It gives students a good amount of time to work on activities and assignments. However, eight classes may be overwhelming for students, even if it helps them acquire credits for graduation. The block schedule also doesn’t allow teachers to see their students every day to remind them of things in order to keep them on top of everything in class. Not seeing them every day may also limit the amount of time they have with their students, which interferes with the amount of material they can cover throughout the school year.
Although block schedule alternates between even and odd days, the SBAC testing will interfere with that. SBAC testing will begin May 1st, 2023, for juniors. During the first week of testing, there are expected to be three even days and two odd days in the following order: odd, even, even, even, odd. In the second week of testing, the alternative is expected to occur, which is: even, odd, odd, odd, even. The purpose of this is to ensure that students have three days of continuous work in order to complete the SBAC.
“It’s a solution to a temporary problem. Normally we would be able to pull out juniors and have them test without affecting the rest of the school, but because there is no room we’re going to have to make those changes to the schedule,” Ms. Clark, English Teacher.
While a block schedule may take some getting used to, it opens up more opportunities for students to take a diverse set of classes. Even though more classes may also be seen as a downside of the block schedule, it all depends on one’s perspective. As May draws nearer, the testing schedule will certainly feel a bit odd at first, but luckily it will only last until testing is over. Until then, the schedule will remain the same as it has been.
Written By: Melissa Sanchez, Staff Writer