HC community sees conflict in block scheduling


Reece Ingram, Editor-in-Chief

As many HC students and faculty are aware, block scheduling is a possible change for the near future.  Many anticipate the change, HC’s SBDM Committee is in the process of passing it. HC Principal Paul Little is pro-block scheduling for the 2021-2022 school year.

“I believe [block scheduling is good for Henry Clay],” Little said. “The big overriding reason is that it provides a whole year’s worth of educational opportunities for students that they’re not getting per our schedule.”

On HC’s traditional six-period schedule, students can take no more than 24 classes if they attend all four years. However, the block scheduling allows students to take 32 classes. These eight classes would be heavy with electives, allowing students to expand their horizons. Students in ROTC, music classes, the Liberal Arts Academy, and other pathways don’t have the opportunity to take other electives due to their full schedule.

“I think that we need to offer our students the maximum opportunity to learn in all subject areas across the board,” Little said. “I don’t think our current schedule does that. There are certain groups within our building that are very limited to the electives they can take because of the programs that they’re in.”

Career readiness is a big part of the decision for block scheduling.  HC has been placed last in the district when it comes to career readiness for several years. Yet, HC has been high performing in college readiness.

“One of the criteria that we must be accountable for is career readiness,” Little said. “It makes up a part of transition readiness, which is college and career. We have done well with college readiness. Usually, we are high performing.”

Reactions from teachers and faculty have been mixed. Many oppose the switch, while others embrace it.

“I think it’s going to open up some options for our students that don’t currently exist due to the traditional schedule,” HC Academy Facilitator Catherine Stephens said.

However, the cons of the block scheduling switch have been projected. Mathematics and Language Arts teachers have been more opposed.

“As a parent and as an educator, I am against block scheduling,” HC English teacher Jessica Andrews said. “I have definitely been able to cover more with the traditional schedule. Also, I feel like I connect much more with students.”

Little’s main goal is to provide what he believes benefits all HC students, even if that means changing HC’s schedule.

“It’s not something I can coast on,” Little said. “In my heart, I truly believe it’s best for all students.”