If you have been attending North Springs for the last couple of years, you probably would have noticed the huge amount of changes that have happened. Things such as the renovation of the building both inside and out, new teachers and administration, and even a new principal, Dr. Ruiz. Another big change has also been the bell schedule. Over the years, small and big changes have been added such the addition of the SPARTA class. Other changes have been incorporated as well such as the elimination of the block schedule.
Over the course of two years the bell schedule has seen big changes. About 2 years ago, every Tuesday and Wednesday students had 90 minute classes through the day. Tuesday had even classes and Wednesday had odd classes. Over the course of those two years, the student body of North Springs reacted to this with mixed reactions. Many complain about having to be stuck with teachers that some students may find unsatisfactory, while others complained about being stuck learning the same subject over an extended amount of time. Last school year however, the district got rid of the block schedule and decided to add SPARTA to the schedule, which was basically a 30-40 minute class which allowed additional learning time for students who needed this the most and this block was done every Wednesday of each week.
Now fast forward to this year. We have adopted a 7 bell schedule every day with SPARTA blocks being done once every couple months. This has got the student body wondering why so many changes have taken place over the last 3 years. Ms. Kimbrel, an assistant principal here at North Springs and who is in charge of the schedule commented, “When you incorporate block schedules you have to make sure that the staff is on board because it is much different to teach a class for 55 minutes versus 90+ minutes. Block schedule is not just about classes being longer but it requires different instructional strategies and commitment.” The modified block was somewhat of a hassle for students and teachers alike because it required extra effort on a teacher’s part to plan for the week and the hassle with that was that you weren’t going to have all of your classes every single day. I believe that the right decision was made when they began incorporating all 7 period into all 5 days a week compared to 3.
Many students also had negative feedback to the block schedule. Many complained that it was unfair that we had to sit in a class for 90 minutes learning the same subject. Eventually students are going to begin to zone out halfway through. Many students considered this a nightmare especially for classes where there was no real hands on work such as labs or other activities that would require you to move around rather than sitting at your desks.
Just last year, the schedule was switched to a 7 day block with the addition of SPARTA class. This schedule was much better for students because the time spent in class wasn’t as long as during the modified block and also it allowed students to be more manageable. “We got rid of it because teachers wanted a more consistent schedule where they were able to see their students daily.” stated Mrs. Kimbrel. This shows that students were not the only ones that were somewhat struggling with block schedule. It was inconsistent for just about everyone in the school.
This year the schedule has remained mostly the same with the exception is that sparta class is no longer every Wednesday but now its every month in which students will go to their classes based on the block schedule with one day of early release throughout. Personally this is the best schedule adjustment thus far for North Springs because it allows for teachers to plan accordingly and diligently and also allows for students to keep a consistent and organized academic life.