District moves to a block schedule for the 2021-2022 school year

For the 2021-2022 school year, District 127 is implementing a block schedule, and each day will begin at 8:15 a.m.

A committee of teachers, counselors, and administrators visited area schools to look at programs where block schedules and late starts were already implemented.

“We have a very large committee. I believe a major benefit is being able to focus on one thing at a time. Trying to keep track of everything and keep moving is chaotic. I have heard this consistently, let kids relax and dive deeper into certain classes,” said principal Dr. James Roscoe.

There are more benefits to having block schedules. One is the implementation of Knight periods. This is for students to be able to get help, do homework, or anything else they need to take care of during the day.

“Knights period is a class in peoples’ schedules, and all students will have it. It will land in your schedule wherever it makes the most sense. No students will have a Knight period 3rd or 7th period. Our new schedule helps social and emotional problems. Students like the amount of classes, but not the old schedule. They would like time in the day to do what you need to do and not rush through lunch. Our students also said that they would like to start later, but don’t want to be let out of school too late. We did a lot of research to find out that this schedule will have no impact on graduation rates, but what we did notice is that the students on a block schedule have a lot less stress in life and school in general,” said Dr. Tracey Landry, assistant superintendent of teaching, learning, and innovation.

With having four periods in a day and more consistent time for students to spend with teachers, teachers can format their class and schedule times for more things.

“I have taught in extended period classes, and it’s just nice in general. For example, to have the ability to watch an hour and a half movies and not have to split it into two days so my students can really get into the movie and not be let down by the bell ringing halfway through the movie, right before the climax, will be awesome,” said English teacher Patrick Green.

Dr. Landry started a committee two years ago, trying to find out the perfect schedule for students and teachers.

“It was a group of people from the 19-20 school year and 18-19, a group of people from district admin; everyone just wanted to look at the schedule. I believe the push behind this is that the Board believes the later start helps adolescents. The original purpose was for a later start time. This eight hour school day is time to go. That is the same schedule I had personal experience with in high school. I believe it’s dated,” said dean Linda Vecchie.

People believe that block scheduling will help students time manage and will help them improve their education.

“The other part of that is diving deeper into better high-quality learning,” Roscoe said.