Playing With Blocks

By: Kelsey Shady

Junior Derk Keller watches attentively while learning  in Spanish class.  Photo by: Lauren Hauser
Junior Derk Keller watches attentively while learning in Spanish class.
Photo by: Lauren Hauser


The thought of doubling class times will make a student cringe. For us at Mount Vernon High School, this horrific thought became a reality. Although at first most hated the idea of block scheduling, they soon learned it’s not all bad.
On Thursdays, students have their odd period classes while on Fridays students will have even periods and Multi Tiered Support System (MTSS). Each block class period lasts 85 minutes with a six minute passing period in between. On Fridays, students will have MTSS, time to work with their teachers retaking tests and extending their learning, or simply getting homework done before the weekend.
For me, 85-minute class periods did not seem that long. Most teachers split the class in half, at the beginning of class we worked and got instruction and after instruction was finished we had work time. In some classes we took tests or participated in activities that would take longer than a normal class period, such as labs and presentations.
All students go to lunch from 11:15-12:15. This hour gives us time to sit and relax between the long class periods, but is also a time set aside for clubs and councils to meet. Although this time may be convenient for some, I find it to be overwhelming. Both days I had meetings planned for the full hour, leaving me minimal time to actually eat. It seems this hour of time to catch up and relax is becoming more stressful every week. I’m involved in cheer, yearbook, Spanish Club, and Thundering Herd—all of which meet during lunch. Last year, teachers worked around our schedules. This year, the time is allotted for meetings, so attendance is expected.
A solution for this would be for club advisers to communicate with each other and with students. This would cut down on stress and improve students’ time management. Another solution may be to have meetings for clubs occur every other week or only take half an hour instead of the full hour. Although, we still need to work out the kinks of lunch, I believe the 85-minute class periods are very helpful and are a good time to make progress.