Blocked Scheduling Speech (LHS PTSA)

(Delivered on behalf of the Liberty High School Parent/Teacher/Student Association to the Bedford County School Board.)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Bedford County School Board  . . .

I stand before you today to tell you what I think about Liberty High School’s blocked scheduling program. To state it simply, I love it.

After spending just under a year here at Liberty, this school’s blocked scheduling system has proven itself to me to be superior to the seven period day which I experienced during both 7th and 8th grades at Franklin Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Virtually everything about school I’ve found more positive and easier to handle under the blocked scheduling program. I’m less stressed when I get home every afternoon because I only have to worry about four classes each day, and—because we are able to spend more time in class working on lessons—I haven’t had as much homework in the evenings.

Because we have an extra class each year, I am able to take more classes I’m interested in. Because of the larger amount of time spent each day students spend with teachers, I’ve found the student/teacher relationships here to be of a much higher quality than they were on a seven period schedule.

With that better relationship, I think, comes a higher respect level in both directions, which—combined with other factors I’ve mentioned—makes school a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved under blocked scheduling.

The positive aspects of blocked scheduling go far beyond simple enjoyment. I’ve felt that my education here at Liberty has been far superior to any of the other schools I’ve been to. As I mentioned earlier, the longer classes allow more information to be covered each day. Not only that, but we get an entire extra class each year. I think this extra class allows students to be better prepared for the real world when they graduate from high school.

Liberty’s blocking system is also far superior, in my opinion, to alternating days block, which I experienced at Chantilly High School my freshman year, also in Fairfax County. On Chantilly’s system, I was still worrying about a full seven classes, they were just spread over two days—and most of my teachers assigned twice as much homework each night with the thinking that we had twice as many days to work on it! This doesn’t work out well, considering we had twice as much homework on the other day too.

This, combined with other factors, completely ruined the student/teacher relationships at Chantilly. Everyone seemed to hate everything about everyone else. The alternating days blocked scheduling was even more stressful and difficult than a normal seven period system, and has no noticeable educational advantage.

The blocked scheduling system at Liberty High School is the best scheduling system that I have ever seen or experienced. On both the seven period day and alternating days block, I was always stressed, often angry, and never satisfied with my education or my school.

Here at Liberty, my entire attitude has changed. I’m more involved in my classes, learning more, getting along better with teachers and staff, living a happier life, and just plain getting a far better education. Without Liberty’s blocked scheduling program, I would have gone through the rest of High School hating every moment and dreading every school day. That is why I hope that Liberty stays exactly as it is through the last two years of my High School career.

Thank you.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.