Mira Costa’s Ed Council and the Social Emotional Wellness Committee are currently considering the possibility of implementing a new schedule structure that includes options such as a traditional schedule, conventional block schedule and rolling block schedule. The school should adopt a rolling block schedule to provide more in-depth learning periods and work opportunities that will effectively satisfy the goals of both groups to reduce student stress.
Costa students, parents, administrators and staff members began discussing the potential of a new schedule, which would be implemented in the 2018-19 school year at the earliest if approved by teachers, Costa Principal Dr. Ben Dale said. Members of both the SEW and Ed Council have developed a conjoined committee to further the discussion of various scheduling ideas, including the rolling block schedule consisting of up to eight periods each approximately 90 minutes. Under a rolling block schedule, each period would meet every other day, and each week, the days each class meets would be inverted.
Discussions for a new schedule began after the SEW brought up concerns about student stress, Costa English Department Co-Chair Jonathan Westerberg said. According to a La Vista survey of 200 students, out of the students opposed to the current schedule, 45% percent of students is opposed because it believes it is prone to inducing excessive stress. Thus, the school clearly needs to provide an alternative schedule structure, and the rolling block is an excellent option, as students can spend more time in classes with elongated learning times, allowing for greater depth in curriculum and breadth of course options.
According to a survey of Costa teachers, 50% of teachers who favor block scheduling prefers it because students would benefit more from their classes if they had more time to work on material in one sitting. Thus, a block schedule would be beneficial as it allows students to be more focused and efficient when in class.
According to the survey, 39% of students who favor the block schedule feels that, with the current schedule, they do not have adequate time to complete schoolwork. The rolling schedule will help the school adjust to students’ workloads because they would have just four periods of class each day, or a maximum of four classes worth of after-school work. Thus, the rolling schedule would be a perfect solution in providing students with the extra time and flexibility they need in order to complete their class and homework.
According to the survey, of the students who are opposed to a block schedule, 48% prefers the current schedule because students should not be in class for more than 55 minutes. Although 90 minutes is a significant time commitment, it should be the responsibility of the students to adapt to longer periods. The longer period will benefit students as teachers will be able to utilize additional time to cover their material with autonomy and flexibility.
In order to effectively reduce student stress, the school should adjust its current schedule to a block schedule that would, ideally, allot students the time needed to finish their schoolwork and provide students with more focused learning than had before.