U-High should stick with a block schedule permanently

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Midway staff

U-High should permanently replace the old and outdated eight-period schedule with a block schedule that is receptive to the mental wellbeing and academic needs of students writes city life co-editor Lucia Kouri.

Lucia Kouri, City Life Co-Editor

Heading into the 2020-21 school year, U-High transitioned from an eight-period schedule to a block schedule, with each class meeting just twice a week and leaving Wedesdays open for assemblies and office hours. 

U-High should permanently replace the old and outdated eight-period schedule with a block schedule that is receptive to the mental wellbeing and academic needs of students.

A study conducted at Brown University finds that students focus more attentively in class and retain information for longer when classes are spaced out throughout the week and less material is taught in greater depth.

With later starting times and without the pressure of completing assignments for as many as eight classes every night, students could adapt to healthier sleep patterns, which plays a crucial role in enhancing cognitive skills while also improving student mental health. 

When teachers see fewer students per day, time for individualized instruction increases, and with designated time for office hours, students are given the opportunity to develop stronger interpersonal relationships with teachers and to ask for help when needed. 

The in-class time taken away through the adoption of a block schedule is not time wasted but instead time that contributes to the overall quality of learning — time that alleviates stress, decreases sleep deprivation and enhances opportunities for personalized instruction. As a school that will already be facing great change upon returning to in-person learning next year, now is a better time than ever to adopt a class-structure that will be in the best interest of the students moving forward.