Students have complained about Woodland’s straight-eight schedule since even before the first day of classes. Now, to the relief of many, Woodland’s administration is taking those opinions into account– Woodland is returning to the traditional four-block schedule.
When Principal Kurt Ogren first found out that the region was going to adopt a hybrid model, he looked at every example that he could find in an attempt to figure out the best fit for Woodland.
“It was interesting because some schools that normally did a straight-eight schedule switched to a four-block schedule, and some schools that traditionally had a four-block schedule switched to a straight-eight,” Ogren said. “We weighed the pros and cons of both and the biggest overriding factor was the frequency of which students needed to see their teachers.”
Administration also considered the amount of time that students learning online would be sitting in their classes. In the spring, a majority of students opted not to participate in online classes because the 80-minute block felt too long. The administration felt that switching to the straight-eight schedule and therefore cutting in half the time would be beneficial for everyone.
The main complaint that students had of the straight-eight schedule was the amount of homework that they were receiving from teachers. Instead of having four classes worth of homework due every other day, they suddenly had eight classes of homework due every day. Add this to the already busy schedule of student-athletes, those with jobs, and students who participate in extracurricular activities.
“I truly feel that if we fixed the homework piece,” Ogren said, “then people would have gotten used to the straight-eight schedule and it would’ve been okay.”
However, after thinking it through thoroughly and analyzing feedback from students and staff, the administration felt that returning to the four-block schedule was the best option. According to a survey conducted during advisory, 73.5% of students and 60% of staff wanted to return to the four-block schedule.
With this new schedule, termed the “AABB schedule”, advisory will also meet more often and consistently. Advisory will fall after second block on every full day of school. However, online students will not be required to join a Google meet for advisory unless specially instructed to do so by their advisor. Instead, they will essentially have a twenty minute break at home.
The AABB schedule will go into effect on Wednesday, November 4th, the first day of the second marking period.
“The bottom line is that we wanted to be flexible,” Ogren said. “We value the opinions of our students more than anybody.”