Block Schedule VS. Seven Period Schedule
Last year, the Salem-Keizer Public School District made the decision to put schools on a block schedule for the 2015-16 school year, instead of the seven-period schedule of previous years.The new schedule was put into place to allow students the freedom to take more electives, as well as provide more class and study time for students struggling with required classes. The 90 minute class periods were introduced in order to give students more in-depth instruction periods and open their minds to deeper levels of critical thinking. West Salem, North Salem, McKay, McNary, Sprague, and South Salem high schools were all affected by this change. Since this decision was made, one semester of this school year has passed, giving students the opportunity to decide which schedule is more appealing.
When asked what they liked about the new schedules, many South students said they appreciated that they did not have all of their classes every day because it gave them more time to complete assignments and study for tests and quizzes. This was not as easy with the seven-period schedules, as there was only 49 minutes in the class period to accomplish these tasks.
“I get to actually do my homework and finish it on time the next day. Even if I get more homework, I still could finish it by the next day,” Anna Abramova ‘17 said.
While the new block schedule appears to offer benefits for many students, there are some aspects of the previous seven-period schedule that students preferred. Multiple students complained that the longer class periods make it more difficult for them to pay attention in classes that they are not as successful in. This hinders their absorption of the information presented in class, as they are unable to focus on much of what they are being taught. The lunch schedules were also said to be bothersome for some students because they “throw off your eating schedule.”
“I liked that the classes weren’t as long so that my attention span could be held easier, “ Lauren Taber ‘18 said. “I feel like with the longer classes it kind of drags on and sometimes it’s not as fun because of how long it is.”