One of the hardest jobs administration faces before every school year is creating each student’s schedule compatible with every other student’s schedule in the school. In 2015, Hewitt completely remodeled the schedule for the entire school creating a six-day block schedule cycle. The six-day cycle allowed for longer class periods, but only allowed students to have a maximum of four classes a day. After the first year of the block schedule, the administration decided that the class periods were too long, so the timing was adjusted to allow students to have a maximum of five classes a day. All students and faculty have warmly embraced the six-day cycle as a part of their lives at Hewitt, but, like anything else, the system has its advantages and disadvantages.
Many students prefer the six-day schedule opposed to the previous system Hewitt had in place because it allows them the ability to space out their schoolwork. When asked if she likes the new block schedule, Erin ‘19 replied, “Yes, it allows me more time in the day to do homework and I am able to space out assignments throughout the week. Both of these aspects make homework more manageable.” Teachers also like the six-day cycle because it allows for longer class periods. Longer classes allow teachers to be able to include multiple activities within one lesson which allows students to further grasp and understand topics being taught. Mr. Dickman, a high school math teacher, says, “The length of the classes are very good particularly for math classes because a class any longer would feel too long but any shorter would feel too short. If we are trying to structure the classes among people speaking one problem could take forty minutes to go over and if you only have a forty-five-minute class then one problem will take the entire period.” Another advantage to the block schedule is it prevents students from missing the same classes over and over again. For example, if a certain month has two holidays on a Monday instead of students missing the same classes both days the cycle will make it so they have different classes they are missing each day.
Although the six-day cycle has its benefits it also has its weaknesses. Some students and faculty members have found that the six-day schedule is very spread out making it confusing for them to plan ahead and causing them to miss classes multiple days in a row. The cycle makes it difficult to predict far ahead in terms of meeting and tests and sometimes the cycle is affected by snow days. One of the most difficult aspects is the schedule makes it especially tough when programming with non-Hewitt entities who do not run on a six day cycle. Some students also say that having classes so spread out will sometimes cause them to forget about assignments or forget what they are learning in classes. Carly ‘18 said, “I think of the biggest disadvantage of the new schedule is there are certain classes, like math, that I won’t have for five days straight and then once we resume classes I have to try to remember what I am learning.”
At this point in the school year Hewitt students and faculty, new and old, are well integrated into the six day cycle and have found ways to compensate for the negative aspects it has to offer. Hewitt is one of many schools that has embraced the six day cycle and my prediction is it will play a standing role at Hewitt for years to come.