Students, Teachers Learn a New Way to Schedule Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathleen Somera

Students and teachers eating lunch, roaming the hallways and having meetings at the same time used to be an unusual sight at Jacobs, but this year, they illustrate a typical day.

After compiling information and visiting other schools since 1995, Jacobs finally established a working schedule this year - the block schedule. This schedule divides the day into four 90-minute periods.

The third block is referred to as "flexblock." During this hour, Jacobs students and teachers have lunch at the same time. Clubs and organizations also meet during "flexblock."

In the block schedule, students are able to finish what used to be yearlong classes in just two terms. Changing the schedule also meant changing graduation requirements from 19 credits to 21 or more for the Class of 1999 and those thereafter.

So why did Jacobs change to block scheduling in the first place? The school's purpose is to meet the demands for well-prepared students and to accommodate the growing student population. The advantages of block scheduling also served as reasons.

In the new schedule, teachers address various learning styles, and the school offers more electives, thus increasing opportunities for students. Teachers and students wonder if block scheduling will keep live up to its advantages. Like any other change, it is open to criticism and compliments as well.

The main complaint of students is sitting in class for 90 minutes. Many dread boring lectures.

"Personally, I don't like it (block scheduling) because I have to sit and listen to a teacher lecture for more than an hour. But I'm sure after a few weeks it'll work better," commented Tamrah English, a sophomore.

Besides complaining about extended class hours, students also criticize the long lines during lunch hour or "flexblock." Principal Linda Robinson offers a solution to the students. …