• Anna McLean

Board of Education decides on Block Scheduling

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Following the end of the first three weeks of the 2021 school year, Spring Lake Public Schools’ Board of Education sent out a survey to parents and staff regarding their thoughts about what type of schedule they preferred, fully in-person or hybrid. The majority of parents voted to go back to full-time, whereas the teachers voted 66% in favor of hybrid. Now, the Board of Education had many things to consider when making this difficult decision. They had to take into account the needs of working parents and their children who are not old enough to stay home alone or be able to govern themselves and be wholly independent on those off-school hybrid days.

The school board ended up voting on returning to fully in-person, five days a week, but with block scheduling. Block scheduling is a type of scheduling that allows for students to be back at school full-time, but with only three classes a day. On “A” days, they will have their first hour for the normal 72 minutes, then the rest of their day will be split into 2nd and 4th hours. Then, on “B” days, they will begin with their first hour (72 minutes), then the rest of the day will be spent at 3rd and 5th hours, therefore creating a dynamic of having all 5 classes spread out evenly over a 10-day period.

Board member Curt Theune says, "Safety is our utmost concern. We took into account not only what the teachers and staff wanted, but what the community wanted as a whole. We [the board] are elected to represent our staff as well as our community, and that played a big factor into the decision."

The Board of Education was certainly not faced with an easy decision. The Board members have been doing everything in their power to prioritize not only the quality of our education, but also the safety of our students and staff. With the addition of physical distancing rules, plexiglass throughout the school, and mandatory wearing of masks at all times within the school, they have proven that they will go the extra mile to ensure our safety. While block scheduling may not be the ideal situation for teachers and students, we have to step back and realize how many people and situations they have to take into consideration. Overall, the board felt that students will be provided with a more enriching learning experience if they are to return to full-time, rather than keep the hybrid scheduling.

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