New block schedule to begin in August

At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Har-Ber will officially switch over to a block schedule, the new wave of high school scheduling across the country.  Class lengths will be doubled in order to easily allow for longer lessons and projects.  However, students will only have each class two to three times per week.  Junior Jackson Lanning is excited about the change, but is worried about how great of an impact absences will have.  

“A lot of my friends’ schools already have block scheduling, so I kinda want to see what it’s all about,” Lanning said.  “But, absences will mean I miss a lot more of what’s going on in class, so I’m curious to see if that becomes a big deal.”

Junior Jack Baldwin also enjoys the idea of the new schedule, but is curious to see how students with special situations are affected.

“I like the idea of block scheduling, but I’m just interested to see how it’s gonna work with athletics,” Baldwin said. “I also want to see how it’s gonna affect kids with out periods, because both these situations would affect me.”

Teachers have been preparing for the switch for the past two years. Tiffany Abner, computer science teacher, believes the transition will be smooth and will only reap benefits.  

“I’m looking forward to it,” Abner said.  “I often have days where my students are working independently, and I think the longer class periods will allow for better retention of the material.  This is also the same schedule most colleges use, and will help prepare students for college life.”

The administration has had multiple professional development meetings to prepare teachers for the change, and has been overall very helpful, per Abner.  However, many students wish the change was more publicly announced in order to better prepare for it.

“I wish the block scheduling announcement would’ve been more public,” Baldwin said.  “I feel like they’re trying to keep it under the radar. They’ve already made their minds up, so I don’t know why they’re keeping it so lowkey.

Overall, the change will come, alongside the addition of an additional class per semester.  The transition may be arduous at first, but students, including Lanning, have faith in the new schedule.

“I expect the only hard part to be remembering which day you go to which class,” Lanning said.  “After that, I expect block scheduling to be very helpful, especially by giving more time for homework and class preparation.”