New Blocked Classes

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New Blocked Classes

Gracen Shepps, News Editor

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Upon receiving their schedules at the end of the summer, many students were surprised to find they had been placed into a block schedule class. This led to a lot of confusion for students, which was quickly sorted out on the first day. Now, three weeks into a successful school year, students have adjusted to this new schedule and are forming opinions on their blocked classes. Many students and administrators feel positive about these new classes and are excited to see how block scheduling affects the future of MASH classes.

A blocked class meets for two full class periods every day. This way, the class is finished at the end of the first semester and a new class can start and continue for two periods every day until the end of the school year. Blocked classes became a trend among schools in the 1990s, with many schools switching to have all classes this way. There are many schools with all blocked classes. In fact, one of every three students who transferred to Mechanicsburg went to a block-schedule school. Yet, among the trends MASH never made the switch and has kept the same schedule since 1935. Integrating blocked classes into the high school started last year with a small group. Due to the very positive feedback, this year there is a larger group testing out these classes. Sophomore counselor, Mrs. Clarke, has shared that students are selected randomly to be put in these classes based upon what fits best in their schedules. This statement was also confirmed by MASH Principal, Mr. Harris.

One sophomore, Sophie Blair, was not sure about how beneficial the block scheduling would be at first. However, after a few weeks of classes, she sees this new schedule in a positive light, but does not think every class should be blocked. When asked for her opinion on the block, she stated, “I think that block scheduling classes is good to a certain degree. They make sense for some core classes, but not all. I think there could be improvements within the structure and flow of the class. Overall, I do not think all classes should be in a block schedule.” Her opinion is shared among other students, as another student, sophomore Hope McKenney shared a similar opinion.

Principal, Mr. Harris, also shared some insightful information about the blocked classes. When asked for his opinion on the topic, he shared that the classes are not supposed to be simply sitting and listening to a 90-minute lecture. Instead, these classes should be moving around and using the time for different lessons and activities. For example, Mr. Harris explained that the blocked classes provide a great opportunity for labs and other hands-on activities throughout the class. Mr. Harris also provided information on plans for the future of block scheduling. He explained that they can not answer what the plans are today, as there are no immediate plans regarding the future of block scheduling.

In conclusion, block scheduling is still new to MASH, and with no current plans for the future, the only thing certain is the positive feedback among students placed in these classes.