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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    The block schedule: what does the future hold?

    On+the+experimental+schedule%2C+students+and+faculty+dropped+what+they+were+doing+to+take+time+to+share+in+the+school-wide+examen.
    On the experimental schedule, students and faculty dropped what they were doing to take time to share in the school-wide examen.

    When the announcement that a new block schedule would be introduced for a period of time in mid-January was made, one question was echoed repeatedly throughout the hallways by many, “Why?” 

    In mid-January, Gonzaga implemented a new schedule consisting of four block periods that alternated time slots every three days. With the new schedule, classes on A and B days were 80 minutes each, leaving behind the quickly-paced eight period day of 45-minute classes that Gonzaga students were accustomed to. The new schedule also allowed for community period, as well as an Examen, to be implemented every three days as opposed to the usual once a month. It was a radical change from the previous schedule.

    “For a number of years the faculty have been talking about Gonzaga’s schedule and how it’s not really the best practice anymore to just run through an eight-period schedule and to be changing courses six or seven times a day,” said Headmaster Tom Every. “We wanted to do something that was sufficiently different than what we do now.”

    Initially, reactions about the change of pace in the school day were mixed; most students remained undecided.

    “I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not,” said Will Sapp, senior. “It was just so different than anything we’ve ever done at Gonzaga.” 

    As the experimental schedule hit full stride, there became more and more division in opinions, leaving the undecided pool of students few and far between. 

    Students and staff join in for the Examen in the Upper Commons.

    The entirety of the Gonzaga community is eager to see what will come from this trial period. The seemingly abrupt end to the change of schedule left most students confused as the transition back was not so swift. 

    “It was awkward coming back to our regular schedule after the trial; the new one seemed like it came and went so quickly, and no one could really make their mind up about how they felt,” said Bobby Dingell, sophomore.

    Though aspects of the schedule worked well, some students were left with a long period of time in between classes, and this became an outstanding flaw to everyone on campus. 

    “ It was nice to have some time in between classes, but I don’t want to have two hours in between periods. It gets boring; I have nothing to do,” said Jack Begeny, junior.

    The freshmen had a different viewpoint on the new schedule as they have only experienced the original for a semester, leaving them with a clean slate to see which they preferred.

    “ I thought I managed my time better, and it was easier to manage all my classes by only having a few a day compared to the chaos of the other schedule. I feel like it was very cramped in the first schedule,” said Chris Cullen, freshman.

        Looking ahead, the faculty and staff are excited to move forward next and possibly get another run using this schedule, but many changes and modifications need to be made before that is possible.

    “Faculty asked about length of classes and mixing it up, doing something different. I think both the positives and negatives that we’ve gotten from our trial will help inform how we move forward,” said Headmaster Tom Every. “I personally didn’t have any concerns. I tend to trust our guys to rise to the occasion and also just wanted to see what would happen.”

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