Opinion: The Block Schedule

Aarohi Gami '24

To preface, the rotating drop schedule (RDS) we’re currently under is a definite improvement from the previous every-single-class-every-day schedule which was exhausting. In fact, I believe that there is a more effective, less confusing schedule that could be implemented instead that will actually improve the lives of all students.

With the A/B block schedule, you would have four out of eight classes on “A Day” and the other four on “B Day” – never having the same class two days in a row [1]. This makes it easier to remember which classes you have each day. Plus, having just four classes per day would be a huge improvement as far as how hectic each school-day is. Less running around the building and longer breaks between classes sounds much better to me. This block schedule may be the key to reducing the constant stress felt during the school day [2].

The question is, is this schedule really possible at Ridge? Well, get ready to do some math.

On our current schedule, we have a given class  3 times out of the 4 day cycle. Assuming we have school for exactly 180 days (for the sake of simplicity), that gives us 135 days * 56 minutes per period= a grand total of 7560 minutes of a class during the course of a school year. 

Cutting down from 135 out of 180 days to just 90 out of 180 days (class every other day) and lengthening periods to 84 minutes long gives us 90 days * 84 minutes = 7560 minutes of class, meaning no instructional time is lost (actually, I can’t believe that the math worked out perfectly).

The schedule would look something like this:

Time A B
7:35 – 8:59 Period 1 Period 5
8:59 – 9:10 Break 1
9:10 – 10:34 Period 2 Period 6
10:34 – 10:45 Break 2
10:45 – 12:09 Period 3 Period 7
12:09 – 12:35 Lunch 1 
12:35 – 1:01 Lunch 2
1:01 – 2:25 Period 4 Period 8


While extended lessons may seem daunting, classes in which there is enough time for instruction and independent study are long overdue. This means more time to do work in class – that could otherwise have been homework! – in the company of your teacher and friends that can answer questions and clarify and in a classroom environment that can help keep you from procrastinating (sorry for calling you out). Plus, homework that you still have to do at home will never be due the very next day, allowing for more flexibility in how you tackle your workload and for sports, clubs, volunteering, and having some time to yourself (maybe even have a sleep schedule!). Equally important is the fact that this schedule gives teachers adequate time to actually teach during class [2]. Forty-minute Biology Playposits should be a thing of the past with enough time to learn the content and practice in class.

It took so many years for administrators to create the RDS schedule – a schedule that arguably didn’t change the way we learn at school enough—but a simpler and more effective solution lies just within reach . I believe that a full block schedule is the best solution, because we deserve a schedule that prioritizes less stress and less workload, that also maximizes the way that class time is used. Who knows, maybe we’ll all have more time to do nothing!

{Special thanks to Nicole Fam and AnnaBelle Hu for their contributions}


[1] https://www.aasa.org/schooladministratorarticle.aspx?id=14852

[2] https://unlockingtime.org/school-schedules/AB-Block-Schedule 

[3] https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/what-is-block-scheduling/