District 211 should permanently implement block schedules for all schools


courtesy of the d211 website

District 211 is the second largest high school district in Illinois.

Eli Levsky, Reporter

This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all District 211 schools are using a block schedule for classes. This schedule results in students having four classes a day on an alternating schedule, as opposed to having all eight classes every day. At the end of classes there is a break until 2 p.m., academic support tutoring until 3:30 p.m. and then activities until 4:30 p.m.

“Our schedule provides for independent/flexible student work time in quiet locations, tutoring centers, or open laboratory opportunities,” said a District 211 opening plan presentation.

By providing a period that allows students to go to tutoring and study in labs or quiet places greatly benefits the students and teachers. In years past, there has always been tutoring, but it was until 4:30 p.m. starting after school ended. That time span interfered with student’s participation in activities and sports, which usually began right after school. If the school added more tutoring opportunities that did not interfere with morning bus routes, lunches, and after-school activities, teachers would see an increase in people attending tutoring when barriers to access are minimized.

“There are fewer failed classes, a higher number of students on the honor roll, an increase in students’ grade point averages, and fewer failing marks,” said a brochure from Brown University. “Discipline problems on campus decrease.”

A block schedule has the possibility of resulting in more academic support, which should be the goal of the district. It also tends to make it a more intimate and safe environment by fostering tighter teacher-student relationships. Obviously, switching to a block schedule will not automatically ensure student success, but it does help.

“I like it,” said Caitlin Wilson, a Junior student at Palatine High School. “I feel that it gives me more time for assignments, creating less stress.” 

District 211 should adopt a block schedule for all its schools. By creating a school environment that lowers the barriers to access of tutoring and creates a less stressful classroom experience, students will have a better chance of finding academic success in high school.