Changes to next year’s schedule reduce frequency of bruin block, include more “like days”


Students participate in a Bruin Block activity.

Anna Wright

Underclassmen participate in Courtwarming activities during Bruin Block earlier this year.

The class schedule for next year will include various changes that staff members believe will benefit both teachers and students Administrators decided to reducing the number of days during which students will attend bruin block during the 2014-2015 school year, returning to “like day” scheduling with 95 minute class periods during the rest of the week. As of now, the wednesday and thursday schedules will follow this year’s schedule, including a 30 minute bruin block period, while monday, tuesday and friday will follow what is currently called the “like day” schedule, principal Jennifer Mast said. Bruin block committee member and chemistry teacher Stephanie Harman said the changes are largely the result of student and teacher feedback.

“As we’ve been going through the bruin block process, we’ve kind of been hopefully providing some opportunities for people to give us some feedback, and one of the major feedback pieces we got early on was that it was kind of out of sync with the rest of our schedule,” Harman said. “Having something every day felt funny to us.”

Multiple other aspects factored into the decision regarding next year’s schedule change, Harman said. Keeping in mind the career center’s schedule, administrators decided reducing bruin block to two days a week would be in the best interest of the school.

“The other piece of it is having that bruin block right in the middle of the day is really, really hard for the career center,” Harman said. “So as we sort of looked at revamping and moving forward, Dr. Mast pretty much decided we were going to go to not five days [of bruin block.] Conversations with career center people, other kinds of department chair [members], kind of like the ‘big people’, basically came to the decision that we would have bruin block two days a week and those two days would be wednesday and thursday.”

Director of Activities David Bones said he believes the impending changes are an attempt to improve the schedule in a way where students and teachers can thrive. The bruin committee put a lot of thought into the changes, he said, and considered everyone’s feedback.

“I think part of the reasoning is, like anything, we try to look at how we’re doing something and improvements we can make to make it more effective,” Bones said. “So I think that the bruin block committee looked at what is going on in bruin block and just basically kind of saying ‘hey, how can we make this more effective.’”

Though he agrees that having bruin block every day may be overpowering for some students, sophomore Derek Wang said he has some concerns regarding a varying schedule. He said it may pose problem for absent students as well.

“I think changing [bruin block] from five days a week to two days a week will cut down on the dislike of bruin block, however, it will be very confusing for the days with having differing schedules,” Wang said. “Also, if you missed school on one of those [bruin block] days, you would have already missed half of bruin block.”

Rather than confusing students, administrators hope the new schedule will make the week run more smoothly, Bones said. Because longer class periods have proven effective in the past, Bones said he believes this will be the case for next year as well.

“The bottom line is to do what we do, better,” Bones said. “How it will work, you know, i’ve always been here prior to this year when we had the ‘regular schedule,’ and it’s always worked well. I think in some regards having the ‘like day’ schedule may have been a little bit confusing for folks and as a result, I think when you can both improve and simplify, everyone wins.”

By Anna Wright