The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

What is the Most Beneficial School-Day Schedule?

Eight-Class Schedule by Lauren Feldmann

North Polk uses an eight-class schedule with each class being around 45 minutes long and a four-minute passing period. Like North Polk, many schools such as Ballard, Gilbert, and Bonderant have an eight-class schedule. While there are numerous disadvantages to an eight-class schedule, there are also some advantages. 

“I think eight classes is the perfect amount of classes in a school day because I don’t feel like I’m sitting in class forever,” explained North Polk student Sophia Cromley.

Students and teachers have mixed opinions about having eight classes a day. Some teachers like the eight classes and others would prefer to have a block schedule. There is a trend in what teachers would prefer based on what class they teach. 

“Eight classes a day is too much for me, the classes are too short. I would rather have a block schedule for science class like labs and stuff,” Aaron Dose protested.

According to the American Psychological Association studies have found that teenagers now have a shorter attention span than they had in past years. This causes teachers who have less curriculum to have a hard time keeping students on task for an extended time. Students can benefit from switching classes every 45 minutes so they can stay on task throughout the day.

“I don’t know if I like block schedules or not but I feel like it is beneficial for students to not be stuck in a class for one hour a day, I think they would get bored and misbehave,” spoke athletic enhancement coach Patrick Norem

On the other hand, having an eight-class schedule does not allow for extra intervention time, also known as win time. 

“Having a block schedule would I think be helpful for students because it would allow for extra time for students to retake tests or get information from their teachers if they missed a day,” explained Tia Stubbs.

Overall, there are many pros and cons of having an eight-class schedule. People have very different opinions about having eight classes a day.

Four-Day Weeks by Jillian Halupnick

Many school districts have started to transition their way to a four-day week instead of a five-day week. This would mean that they would go to school Monday through Thursday, having Friday through Sunday as the weekend. 

Several people think this would be an amazing thing for North Polk and the community.

“Having a four-day school or work week would be a fantastic option. I think it would help increase teacher retention…it would be a great mental health break and a great opportunity to spend more time with family” one of the math teachers at North Polk, Mrs. Groff voiced her opinion of the four-day week.

Not only do the kids think a 4-day week would be great but also teachers think so. This idea would help the teachers to have less stress when getting tests graded and planning lessons. It would also give teachers more time with their families and give their children more attention. 

Although there are many good things about having a four-day week there are also downsides to a four-day week.

Freshman, Campbell Schulz has concerns about how this would affect her learning, “I don’t think that a four-day week would be a good thing for North Polk because students wouldn’t have enough time to understand the content.” 

This is another view of the four-day weeks. Some kids do not think that this would be beneficial because it would add more stress to students who need more time to study and learn content. This would also take away time from being in the classroom and with the teacher. They would not have as much time to study and learn in school, they would have to take more time outside of school to learn the content which would cause more mental health problems in the long run. 

There are many different views on four-day weeks and many different opinions. It would be a great way to get a break from school, but it can also be a stressor for students.

Block Scheduling by Alex Mohlke

Currently, North Polk’s regular schedule is an eight period, five day week schedule with 45 minute periods. There are many different opinions on how school should be scheduled. 

One idea has been block scheduling. Block scheduling is a four period, five day week schedule with 64 minute periods. 

An English teacher from North Polk, Tia Stubbs has shared her opinion on block scheduling. “I think a positive attribute to block scheduling is the fact that you get an extended amount of time during class and more time to conference,” Stubbs stated. As a teacher, block scheduling can be less stressful because “we don’t have to worry about getting everything done within the 45 minute class period,” Stubbs stated. On the other hand, for students it could be difficult to stay focused and engaged.

Stubbs also shared her thoughts about the negative effects of block scheduling. “A negative to block scheduling would be I’m not seeing every student every day and there are days when we don’t need all 90 minutes,” Stubbs stated.

“I haven’t experienced block schedules ever to compare them to our regular schedule, but block scheduling works better with RTI time and gives more students opportunities to do extracurriculars after school,” Stubbs stated. 

RTI stands for “Response To Intervention” otherwise known as W.I.N time at North Polk. Most teachers know it as RTI time because it is a time for students to make up work or improve their grades while school is still in session.

Freshman, Jaiden Uhl stated “Block scheduling can be nice because we have more time to get our work done, but since the classes are so long it’s easier to lose focus.” Block scheduling has its benefits and drawbacks, but Uhl made it clear [that she prefers] “the regular schedule because classes are shorter and you have more of a variety,” Uhl stated.

Block scheduling and eight period schedules are very different. Students would struggle with their attention span and teachers wouldn’t get to see the same students everyday. Both teachers and students’ routines would undergo major changes. If North Polk were to switch over to block scheduling students and teachers would have to make a big adjustment.

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