A Chip Off the Old Block:  BCP About to Test a New Modified Block Schedule

A Chip Off the Old Block:  BCP About to Test a New Modified Block Schedule
By: Joseph Colizzi ‘23

BCP is planning on testing out a new class schedule in a couple weeks. The plan is to try out a "modified" block schedule and to gauge its effectiveness. This will temporarily stop the daily eight-class periods and the weekly rotations and combine it with a split-up block schedule. At this time, there is no long-term plan to abandon the eight-class schedule.

This new experiment is being proposed by Benedictine’s headmaster, Mr. Bussman. Through the years, BCP has frequently been testing out different schedules to see which one fits the best. With St. Gertrude’s added, a new schedule has to be looked at for the possibility of accommodating classes for both schools and any mixed classes. When both schools were located in the Museum District, there were more joint classes than the three current classes.

The test schedule is a combination of the eight-period schedule and a block schedule, with three different days. Mondays would be an eight-period school day. Tuesdays and Thursdays will have A, C, E and G periods. Wednesdays and Fridays will have B, D, F and H periods. The block schedule classes will be 80 minutes long, benefiting AP classes.

The event period would return, during this test run, taking place right after the first period and lasting 55 minutes, with 15 minutes for breakfast and the rest of the time to be spent in "homerooms," which is another change. During the event period, Cadets will have a specific classroom in which to stay. This will prevent students from just wandering around the school.

A lot of Cadets do not like the idea of spending almost an hour and a half in a class. "I don't like the new schedule because one of the reasons I came to Benedictine [is the current schedule]," said sophomore Jacob Rose. "I looked forward to having 40 minutes classes, and I wanted to get away from block schedules."

While a significant number of students do not like the possibility of a block schedule, some teachers think it might be a good change. Ms. Barker is Benedictine's biology teacher and teaches her three classes over six periods, with one of them carrying an AP course. AP classes are required to have at least one 80-minute class a week. As a result, she often teaches such labs during event periods or over breaks. With a class that has numerous labs and activities, an extended time would be useful. "I think this new schedule would be extremely beneficial, especially for science classes," said Barker. "This offers more time for lab activities and differentiated learning opportunities. Extended time does not have to mean excessive lecturing-it gives teachers and students a chance to really spend time with the material and understand it that much better."

A Chip Off the Old Block:  BCP About to Test a New Modified Block Schedule
A Chip Off the Old Block:  BCP About to Test a New Modified Block Schedule

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