A/B Block Schedule

Ana Cozariuc and Christian Simon

The A/B block schedule for this 2021-2022 school year has been one thing that WHS has implemented to reduce heavy contact from student to student. Although students had an A/B schedule on zoom the previous year, in person and online is drastically different. This is especially due to since the last time students were in school, they had a nine period day schedule. Before implementing this schedule permanently, District 214 had teachers and staff vote for whether or not an A/B school day should be enacted. The majority voted yes, but is this schedule better for D214?

Since classes switch every other day, homework is not nearly as much as it was two years ago.

“I think that it’s easier doing homework with the A/B day schedule because it allows me to have an extra day to turn in my homework that is due the next day,” Alexis Garcia Rodriguez, junior, said.

While this is true, most classes expect students to review material on the day that they don’t have class, which most students don’t admit to doing.

“I struggle occasionally when trying to remember material from a previous day, it also depends on the class. Some classes I don’t like as much I tend to forget more of what I learned in the class,” Jenny Dawson, freshman, said.

Because of the extra 40 minutes per class, some teachers give out class time to ask questions about homework or materials they might not have gotten during lectures while still keeping up with the class schedule.

The A/B schedule also has an effect on students’ social life. While the freshmen in D214 are new and have yet to make a lot of friends outside of their classes, the upperclassmen are not interacting with as many people as they have in the past. Some students do not get to see their friends as much during the school day because of the limited interaction the A/B schedule is supposed to provide, which is mainly a result of COVID-19.

Students, however, are now able to spend more time with friends outside of school and in clubs and sports because of the extra day to do homework.

With the A/B block schedule also came new lunch schedules. Three different lunches, A/B/C, is where students mainly interact with each other. Most students have mixed lunch times, letting them interact with a new group every day.

“When I think of lunch I see it as time away from work and getting to know others. The A/B/C [lunch] schedule allows you to find people you didn’t know already and with a shorter crowd,” Angel Sanchez, junior, said.

Students aren’t the only ones being affected by this schedule change. Teachers have had to make changes in the lesson plans that they have been using for years.

“The good news is we were kind of on A/B last year, so I’m able to take and tweak that information. I do have the additional ten minutes which is gonna help, so I’m not going to have to drastically change anything, but when I did flip from the 45 to the A/B block I did lose content, but I’m trying to figure out how to work that content back in,” Lisa Harbaugh, personal finance and culinary arts teacher, said.

Fortunately for the students, the teachers have been able to implement changes from the schedule last year online, so this year is not as head first.

A lot of classes actually benefit from this schedule change.

“The other class I teach is culinary arts and 45 minutes in a lab was just not enough time to get anything done,” Harbaugh said. 

Preparing ingredients and materials, cooking and preparing final dishes is easier to do in 80 minutes compared to 45. Other classes, mainly science based, that have labs are also in agreement.

Overall, many, if not most, students agree that the A/B schedule is better than the 9 period schedule that was previously in place.