Glenbard District 87 proposes alternative schedule for the future
Glenbard East High School Echo Student Newspaper
This piece covers the student staff and administrators' thoughts on the new schedule proposal of Glenbard District 87.
Anabelle Stevenson often stares at the clock waiting for the bell. The anticipation spills into her brain, leaving no room for classwork. Like Stevenson, many students frequently lose focus in their 48-minute classes.
Glenbard District 87 proposed a new schedule for the 2023-24 school year. It consists of two four-period days and three 8-period class days.
Sarah Choi said “Students including me can barely sit still and pay attention to 45 minutes of learning and being doubled for us would lead to dozing off in class.”
Despite time concerns, District 87 supports the switch. Mellisa Creech, a proposal committee member, said longer class periods provide students with opportunities to dive deeper into content.
“I think it'd be great for kids to really have an opportunity to dig into a lab or an exciting project,” said Creech.
Nicole Hildreth teaches history and said the block will help in doing some class activities like mock trials or games.
“For a long activity I sometimes have to split it over two days, or I'll spend the whole period doing it, and then we'll have to debrief the next day. I see myself using those block days for those types of activities,” she said.
According to Hildreth, teachers face a small amount of time to replan their lessons and activities.
“The teacher still has to go into every single handout, or every single set of instructions, and make sure that it fits within the new program,” said Hildreth.
In Illinois, schools such as New Trier have developed total block schedules. Others like Naperville North implemented a moderate change of an 85-minute study hall.
Glenbard’s proposal was created by a committee and finally presented on November 14. The school board will vote in January of 2023.
To create a smooth transition, Glenbard chose a hybrid model with two days of blocks, two days with Glenbard hour and eight periods, and one day of eight periods and an early dismissal.
Some students feel that it creates too much confusion in their week. Natalie Keas finds it too chaotic with all the changes happening at once.
Another implementation is a 40-minute study hall called “Glenbard Hour”. This is a time to meet with teachers and make up tests. It also gives students freedom in what to do.
Nicholas Scipione, science department chair and a committee member said, “One purpose is student agency for students to be able to say I need math help today. I want to see my math teacher or I feel like playing my trombone today and working on some of the scales.”
“The one positive is the time to work with a teacher one on one for longer,” said Brooklyn Horton.
Since many students are concerned, Scipione emphasizes that the change is just a proposal. The district wants input before the voting in January.
“There's still a process,” said Scipione. “We want to know what students think, which is so important. And we want to have the best product for our students.”