High School Block Scheduling ?

<p>Parents or students with experience with this...my daughter's high school just changed to this for the current school year. Besides the fact that the students and most faculty are not happy with it , it has also imposed that the entire student body has lunch at the same time..the school has approx 1500 students and the cafeteria wasn't designed for that...so the way it is arranged is that the seniors are entitled to the actual tables while the other three grades literally sit in the hallways , on the floor !
I am beside myself..not only is it unsanitary but unsafe in my opinion.
I am calling the BOE first thing tomorrow morning to let them know how I feel.
I don't even want to think about all of the lovely things that the average set of feet comes in contact with and that is so close to the food the students ingest , not to mention what would happen if there was an emergency should happen with all those kids packed in hallways
Opinions please</p>

<p>The tables and chairs aren't any more sanitary so I don't know that I would really push that issues, however, having everyone in the lunch room at the same time is probably a fire code issue. Most schools I know of that have a block schedule have the block around lunch longer, so they can work in lunch shifts. Generally classes that go all year like band, choir, orchestra, meet during that time too.</p>

<p>Personally I would just tell your BOE how unhappy you are with the block schedule--assuming it's a semester block and not an every other day block. We know several kids that have gone almost 2 years between classes (math for example) because of how the block worked out.</p>

<p>This sounds nuts. Not the block schedule, but having 1500 kids eating at the same time when the facilities don't allow for it.
Are students allowed to leave campus for lunch? Why don't they put in more tables? Surely there is a field that could accommodate some added tables or some classrooms that could be opened for lunch- or both.</p>

<p>My son's high school changed to an every-other-day block schedule, and he loved it. I was never crazy about the idea myself, but the students didn't seem to mind. There was plenty of room for everyone to have lunch altogether, so that was never an issue.</p>

<p>I was thinking there must be a fire code issue...makes no sense to me. I'd like to think that a table is more sanitary than a floor since generally speaking , no one is walking across them. Shoes carry a lot of street grime , not to mention if one has been walking where a dog has been..blech
And there is a quad but it certainly can't be used year round since there isn't any shelter from the elements and we live in NJ...there would be days when it would be awesome to use since it is very clue to the beach and boardwalk
I have a close friend who teaches at our school's rival school and she said the schedule is awesome once they get into the swing...that isn't what bothers me so much ...but the lunch thing makes me very uneasy as a mother bear</p>

<p>moonchild--our kids had an every other day block schedule in middle school and it was wonderful. A semester block where you take 4 classes that are longer and count for a full year's worth of study is horrible. Imagine a freshman taking geometry first semester freshman year and not getting into Algebra II until second semester sophomore year, or worse, first semester junior year.</p>

<p>Our HS did a rotating 8 day block schedule. I never could figure it out, but kids and teachers loved it. It allowed students to take more classes and it helped but not cured the conflict with band students and ROTC students.</p>

<p>We have it, and for the most part it is great. Four of the blocks are longer (something like 76 minutes), and one around lunchtime is a "skinny" (half a block of class, half of lunch). Our kids mostly alternate quarters, so it is something like this for my kids:</p>

<p>1st & 3rd quarter -
Geometry
French
Chemistry
Choir (every other day)
Some other arts elective on the alternate day, like painting or drawing or theater class)
The fifth block can also be alternating electives (eg, D2 has Robotics this quarter). Or they might have a study hall one or both days.</p>

<p>2nd & 4th quarter:
English
History
Chem lab (every other day)
Choir (every other day)
Electives to fill in the other blocks (or study halls, or occasionally independent study)</p>

<p>The one exception they make is for Biology, Chem, and Physics. They are full blocks for two quarters, then they meet every other day during one of the blocks near the end of the day for other two quarters (they call them "lab quarters", but they really just keep moving thru the textbook & labs, just at a slower pace). A few classes (eg, Jazz Band) meet at "zero hour" (45 minutes before school) every other day.</p>

<p>They are very intense during the quarters when they have a subject. Pace is fast, as they really only have homework in 2-3 subjects per night, so the classes move quickly. My kids have really liked this. Fewer books to carry, easier to stay organized, enough focus to really dig into a subject and understand it. I think our teachers also like it. They can do a lot more with a 76 minute block than half that time, and the kids are less scattered mentally with fewer subjects to focus on at once.</p>

<p>Sounds like they have some kinks to work out in the lunch scheduling at your high school, but give it a chance.</p>

<p>My kids had every other day block schedule (A days and B days)....that worked well.</p>

<p>There were still 2 lunch periods a day.</p>

<p>We have block schedules and love it. The longer class periods allow more to be done each day. The alternating days allow an extra day for homework. However, our large--ish school has open campus. So lunch is not a problem (relatively few kids actually eat in the cafeteria). </p>

<p>Change is hard but high school "history" is short, ie, four years for kids. In a few years it'll be "the way it's always been". But the lunch hour issue IS a problem-- that will need to be addressed.</p>

<p>The A-B day type schedule (alternating day block scheduling) is what our kids had in middle school. Also good, but I think I like the quarter by quarter alternate better. The A-B approach does give you two days for all homework assignments, though, which is good.</p>

<p>Sounds like teething problems.
Our HS is on a 4 period block. We have 4 lunch periods scheduled into 3rd period which lasts 2 hrs. A lunch starts at 11.30 , B 12.05, C 12.40 and the poor kids with D lunch 1:15.</p>

<p>The kids still have 90 mins instruction within the 3rd period and 30 mins lunch. Science classes either have A or D lunch to give them continual 90 mins for labs etc</p>

<p>Our students and staff love the block. The parents not so much. It does allow kids to take 1 extra class per yr, but is really tough on kids who participate in fine arts classes both semesters. I also struggle with the Math issue, hard on some kids to have the gaps. Our county did introduce year long math for students requiring the extra instruction.</p>

<p>I remember reading somewhere about how thanks to block scheduling some kids in a school district had 'lunch' at 9:50 AM and some at 1:50 PM :)</p>

<p>DD's school has 4 90 min classes a day, with day A and day B. Not bad, but 90 minute lectures are a killer. One of the 90 minute blocks is empty and assigned for Q&A's, make up work, library, etc.</p>

<p>I subbed in two high schools with block schedules. One had 3 lunch groups & one had 4 ... with alternating blocks, students could have different lunch periods depending on the day of the week. It can be done, and it sounds as if it should be in your case.</p>

<p>My son's high school had an alternating day (even/odd) block schedule and he loved it! The longer class period took some getting used to freshman year, but he really liked having two days to do homework for his classes. The thing he didn't like was that their lunch (for the entire student body of about 1100) was at 11:20, which he thought was way too early. He usually didn't eat much at school and then ate a lot at 3:00 when he came home. Having all 1100 students eat lunch at the same time worked for the most part because we're in Southern California, so they were able to eat outside most of the time. In fact, at most of the schools in our district, there isn't even an indoor cafeteria where the whole student body can eat when it's too cold or rainy.</p>

<p>My kids HS has been on a hybrid block schedule for 8 years. Both kids love it. They have x/y days and 3 lunch periods to accommodate 2000 students. Some of the classes are every day but only one semester and other classes like math/science type are alternating but last year long. It takes a little getting used to and the hardest thing for both of my kids was remembering to turn in homework for the alternating classes.</p>

<p>The good thing was if they didn't like a semester class, they knew it would not last the entire year.</p>

<p>OP, I would make the suggestion to the BOE that they break up the lunches. Your situation sounds unsafe and unsanitary.</p>

<p>Four years ago my daughter's hs implemented a drop rotate block schedule. The entire student body (2,000) shared one common lunch period. There were movable tables set up in the halls and in one of the gyms (rolled in before lunch and rolled back out after lunch). There were also some remote locations selling food (outside of the two cafeterias). It sounded horrible but ended up being great. The lunch period was shortened and all the others were lengthened allowing for more academic time in the same school hours. The biggest plus was that you could eat with anybody you wanted not just the kids who might have the same lunch period as you. BTW in NJ at least, the BOE had to get permission from the state D of E to have kids eat in areas other than the cafeteria.</p>

<p>My kids HS has the alternating day block schedule. They also used to have 3 lunch periods. Kids were allowed to sit in the halls or the cafeteria. The halls were packed and the cafeteria always had seating.</p>

<p>This year the new principal has instituted 4 lunch periods. Kids must eat in the cafeteria and aren't allowed to eat on floors in halls. The kids aren't happy but I'm sure the parents are. I thought it was weird at first (eating on the floor in the halls) but my older son didn't complain.</p>

<p>FYI their lunches start around 10:40 in the morning and go to after 1pm. The middle two lunch periods have a class schedule like this: First, go to class, then go to lunch, then go BACK to same class to finish up. Class is split in half with lunch in the middle. I would think this isn't a great lunch period to have, but it seems to work.</p>

<p>When I was in school no one ate in the cafeteria. People would get their food and go outside (granted it was in Arizona, so no weather issues). We also had open campus. With the closed campuses of today, being able to have a little freedom in where to eat lunch is something the kids enjoyed. </p>

<p>My son likes having only 1/2 classes each day to allow time for homework. I couldn't imagine how he'd get it all done if he had class every night--he spends hours at it now.</p>

<p>Turbo - our lunch schedule is similar...starts at 9:50am and runs through 1:00 with 4 shifts. We have a closed campus, and no eating in the halls. Depending on the year and zoning we have between 2,400-2,800 students. We have the even/odd day block scheduling. My kids have done fine with it.</p>

<p>To those who think that floors are without filth/germs... think again. We have learned in the healthcare field that if something falls on the floor, i.e. pens, glasses,etc... they must be cleaned immediately... floors are germ laden. People carry all types of things on the bottoms of their shoes... so I wouldn't want the kids on the floor either.</p>

<p>This is my kids' former A day and B day schedule (there were assembly day schedules for Fridays. Fridays alternated each week as an A or B day)</p>

<p>Regular Schedule............M/W/'A' ...............T/Th/'B'
7:50-9:27......................Period 1...............Period 5
9:32-11:09.....................Period 2...............Period 6
11:14-1:22......................Period 3................Period 7
......................................Lunch 1: 11:14 - 11:44
......................................Lunch 2: 11:48 - 12:18
1:27-3:05........................Period 4...............Period 8</p>

<p>note that Period 3 and 7 are very, very long because they include a lunch period.</p>