Block Scheduling: The Stress Buster Every High School Needs

Grace Roddan

School demands and frustrations are the leading cause of stress among teens in America. During a time where extracurriculars, school assignments and sports dominate life, it can be extremely difficult to excel and find balance in a busy schedule. Block days are very helpful with these struggles, because they allow more productivity in class, more time outside of school to complete assignments, and a less chaotic environment throughout the week. 

“In middle school, seeing your teachers everyday was nice, but classes were really short,” said Mallory Ensing, a current freshman at Lakeridge. “Now we have hour and a half long periods, and I feel that we are really productive during that time.”  

Fitting eight classes into a single day usually means every period is around 45 minutes, compared to a block day schedule where classes are 90 minutes. 

With longer class periods, students are able to settle down more and focus deeper on the subject, instead of worrying about up to seven other classes they have left in the day. It also allows teachers to plan more in depth lessons, with variations like labs and group collaboration they may not be able to fit into a single period otherwise. 

An article called “AB Block Days” by Unblocking Time states that having the longer class periods deepens students’ learning by “allowing a variety of activities and differentiated instruction to occur during a single class period.”

Another benefit of block days is having more than one day to do homework. With sports and any other after school activities, having homework every night due the next morning builds up very fast and becomes rushed and stressful. 

“I like having block days because instead of having one night to do homework, I have two,” said freshman Stephanie Cartwright. “So if I have something going on one day, then I have the next and can get it done on time.” 

This extra day makes a huge difference, with late sports games, other class workloads, and anything else that may take time out of the afternoon. By only assigning four periods of homework per day, it makes it easier for students to manage their time well and complete the best quality of work, without being stressed and rushing just to get it in on time. 

According to an article called “What is Block Scheduling and Is It Effective? Pros and Cons” by University of the People, “Teachers will be seeing fewer students over the course of a day. This means that teachers can build closer bonds with students and get to know their individual learning needs more deeply.”

By limiting the amount of courses one takes in a day, it’s more about quality over quantity and creates a less chaotic daily routine. 

A common argument against block schedules is the loss of continuity. If students are not taking the exact same classes everyday it becomes difficult to review or jump right back into a lesson after a long weekend or break. This is one of the downsides of block scheduling, but with the longer class periods there can be time to review and the student can refresh their memory within the extra days for homework. Added variation inside of classes can also make it easier to remember things besides a lecture and notes, and with the longer classes more variety can happen within a single period. 

The National Education Association states that block scheduling creates a “saner school day” by slowing down the pace, reducing homework and freeing up more time for hands-on learning.” Although there may be skeptics, block days have overall shown to create a calmer environment and take off some added pressure for students. 

The benefits definitely outweigh the detriments when it comes to having block days. From balancing a busy schedule to delving deeper in subjects, the overall experience of having block days is far more enjoyable than having eight chaotic classes in a day. It seems like block days are here to stay at Lakeridge, and we can enjoy the many benefits of them as we wrap up the year and look forward to the next.