HCA decided on a modified block schedule for our secondary classes this year. The benefit of block scheduling is that students have fewer classes in one day. A and B days are divided into four blocks of approximately 90 minutes each. "A" day (Monday/Wednesday) has three academic courses. We use the 4th block (2A) for chapel/class meetings on Mondays and Seminars on Wednesdays. "B" day (Tuesday/Thursday) has four academic courses. Friday is our C day. Students attend all classes on Friday for approximately 50 minutes.
The amount of class time is the same as a traditional schedule. However, teachers can build various activities to keep the class engaging.
A downside is that homework is due every other day. Students should make an effort to review each class every day, so they do not forget what was taught. The Curve of Forgetting video shows why this is important. Another downside is that some teachers teach all day with little or no break time besides lunch. That makes it more challenging for teachers to keep their minds engaged!
HCA has scheduled the days based on the day of the week. If there is a school holiday, that day is skipped. The days are not adjusted for the missing day.
Another critical aspect for secondary students at HCA is break time. Each day has a scheduled morning break. This is so students can get a snack, have a brain break, and socialize with friends. HCA has made this a priority each year. It may make the day a little longer, but it helps keep the focus during class time on class!
Here are samples of our daily block schedules.