New middle school schedule leads to various reactions

A new block schedule has been put into place at Bettendorf Middle School this year, and some students are having a hard time adjusting.

A day now consists of four blocks that are 85 minutes long. While three classes are full blocks, one of them is split into two, dedicated to art, music, study hall and P.E classes.

In past years, the school had eight periods that were 42 minutes long. The teachers have to manage longer lesson plans, and the students have been adjusting to the longer classes.

“We are giving them a ‘brain break’. It might be just some stretching or telling some jokes to refocus,” Social studies teacher, Cheryl Johannsen said. “We also do some type of movement or activity each day to make sure they are not sitting for 85 minutes.”

In the middle of the day, there is a short period called Bulldog Block. Students get to choose where they want to go and learn new things not taught in a core class.

“To pick Bulldog Block, we see each class and a description,” Ava Brandel said, “We then pick our top five choices, and they do their best to sort us and accommodate everyone.”

While teachers and parents say the longer classes will prepare the children for high school, students both like and dislike the new schedule.

“My son doesn’t really like the longer time periods, it really depends on the class, teacher, and his interest level,” Rhonda Nelson said.

“The best part about block scheduling is probably that we have more time to finish projects in class,” Brandel said.

Although it is early in the year, time will tell if the new schedule is efficient and if students will like it.

“I think everyone will be happy with it eventually,” Brandel said.


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