Many (Not All) Like New Block Schedule

Would you rather have seven forty-minute classes or five fifty-five-minute classes a day?

This year, Northwood has adopted a block schedule, and because of the winter schedule and the midyear opening of Northwood’s Main Street location, the school will have three different schedules–one of each for fall, winter, and spring.

The schedule is a seven-day rotation. Each day progresses in alphabetical order from A period to E period with five minute passing periods. Flex-time is still available if students need extra help from teachers, and Community time is now dedicated to not only school meetings on Mondays and Fridays but also advisor, faculty, class, and club meetings on other weekdays.

scannable document on oct 2, 2019 at 2_17_03 pm

This is junior Amelia Brady’s copy of the year’s three schedules, with her off periods highlighted (Photo provided).

The Innovation Hub, also known as Northwood on Main, will integrate into the new schedule in the second trimester. Once the Hub opens, the passing periods will be fifteen minutes instead of five. “The primary reason we have the new schedule is the integration of the Innovation Hub. We need enough between classes to get downtown,” said Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul, Dean of Academic Affairs at Northwood. She continued, “We are also trying to change the way we teach and have more student-centered, project-based learning, which allows students to work on tasks that are more engaging and interesting. This [change] will better prepare students for college and beyond.”

The spring schedule will be the same as the fall one, except the passing periods will remain fifteen minutes instead of five so that students do not have to rush to get to the Innovation Hub and back.

Some have mixed opinions on the change. Mackenzie Hull ‘21 said, “I think I like the new schedule, but at the same time, I don’t like it because we sit in classes for so long. If you don’t enjoy a certain class, it’s harder to sit there for a longer amount of time. But we don’t have every class every day, so students have more time to get their homework done on time.”

However, many students and teachers, whether new or returning, enjoy the new schedule. “I think the block schedule has been pretty beneficial for the school as a whole. I think of the extended class time as a benefit in terms of just being able to do more in class. Also, the extended time during passing helps, especially with kids wanting to get a snack or some downtime in between classes,” said Mr. Woo Jin Jeon, a math teacher.

So far, the new block schedule seems to be an improvement for the school. The Innovation Hub will soon be up and running, expanding the campus, as students get ready to shift away from typical learning and prepare for their upcoming years.

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