The Stinger

Rockwall’s move to modified block met with mixed feelings

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Next year, a typical day at Rockwall High School will look drastically different as we move to a recently-approved modified block schedule. The new schedule and will bring many new changes for the RHS teachers and students.

Students will go to first and eighth period everyday (both will be forty-five minutes long), while the classes in between will alternate, depending on the day. Second/fifth and fourth/seventh period will be ninety minutes long. Third/sixth will be the longest class with a hundred minutes and an additional thirty for lunch. There will also be a fourth lunch  added next year.  

Another change is the opportunity for upperclassmen to have more off periods. Juniors will be given the opportunity for one off period if they meet all necessary requirements. Seniors will be given two or three, depending on how many advanced classes they are enrolled in.

The Stinger staff talked to some current Rockwall students and teachers to get their thoughts on the upcoming changes. Overall, most of those we talked to have mixed feelings about the modified block.

Junior Sterling Smetena likes how he will be able to have two off periods and how it’s a big step toward college because of how the classes alternate. Additionally, he believes that the classes being longer will allow students to work on homework. On the other hand, he finds the amount of minutes a bit nerve wracking. However, he believes that, overall, students will  get used to it and will consider it a fun experience.   

Reagen Simon-Hayes, a sophomore, thinks the block schedule is a wonderful idea because it allows people more time to get homework done during class. However, she believes that the extra lunch is a little unnecessary and would rather it just stay the same.

Current freshman Brittney Purcell agrees that homework will be easier to manage because of the alternating days, and the longer classes will allow more time to get into topics and discuss them so the student will understand it more. However she, too, is concerned that the classes may become difficult for people with short attention spans which will make the long class a waste of time. She also does not like how the extra lunch makes the chances of getting getting the same lunch as your friends slimmer.

Much like the students, some of the teachers hold mixed thoughts.

Math teacher Lucas Beville stated, “(It’s) Awesome – more time to teach throughout day.

Ap English teacher Mrs. White is all for the new block schedule because she’s done it before and claims that it allows students to have more in-depth class discussions.

Overall, most agree that the new block schedule will provide many opportunities but may also cause some difficulties along the way:

Pros:

  • Longer classes allow students to get homework done, decreasing the amount they have to do at home.
  • More time for teachers to interact with students and cover all questions they may have.
  • Students have less information to deal with and more time for reflecting.
  • More time for labs and test during class
  • Teachers have a longer time to plan for class
  • The extra lunch will help with the overcrowding

Cons:

  • The block schedules complexity confuses a lot of students
  • Students with a short attention span may struggle to pay attention during class
  • Harder to make up absences

As with any major change, there will certainly be a period of adjustment for students as well as teachers, and it will take some time to get used to it.

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