55 minutes to 2 hours, longer classes create better environment


Returning to school for the start of the 2021-2022 school year has been hectic. For now, masks are not required on campus, lunch is still free, and the normal schedule has returned full force. 

Sophomores and incoming freshmen are getting their first taste of going to all their classes in a day, differing from last year’s everyday block schedule. 

Last year, due to COVID-19, every day was a block day to try and minimize the number of student interactions each day. This meant that school days were broken down into block days of first, third, and fifth hour and second, fourth, and sixth hour with four lunch periods and no conference. 

Now this year, with  COVID-19 being more under control, CUSD schools have chosen to return with the normal 6-period block schedule. This removes the added lunch from last year and re-introduces Conference on block days.

The returning normal six-class schedule on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays allows for two block days on Tuesday and Wednesday. On these two block days, students spend around two hours in each of their classes, but only attend either first, third, and fifth, or second, fourth, and sixth. This allows teachers to give assessments, or teach longer, more in-depth lessons that may be rushed during a normal 55-minute class. 

Conference is a 30 minute period designed to allow clubs to hold weekly meetings, but for others, this period allows students to get ahead in classwork and homework. This limits the amount of time needed to be spent on homework at home, allowing students more time to participate in after-school activities such as club and school sports practices. 

Even without conference, the longer class hours provide enough time for teachers to deliver a lesson, with plenty of time left to allow students to begin, or even complete their homework, again allowing students more time to do what they love outside of school.

The fewer classes each day also allows for teachers to give students tests without the fear of not having enough time to finish before the normal 55 minute period ends. 

Another benefit of block day, by attending only three, two-hour classes a day, the school day feels shorter. The increased amount of time spent in only three classes makes the day feel like it goes faster, as less homework is assigned and students only have to walk to half their classes. 

The two-block days, held back-to-back, seem to blend into each other, as students are used to a school day consisting of six classes, instead of just three. 

This schedule also seems to shorten the school week, as the two three-day class schedules blend together into one school day. It almost appears that Monday very rapidly turns into Thursday. 

Block days allow students to participate in clubs they love, get more homework done, and seemingly fast forward their week from Monday to Thursday.