Schedule on Trial

The recent of the modified block-schedule at Lakota high schools introduces new questions as to what caused the revision, and whether it will be employed in the upcoming 2022 year.


East seniors Olivia Marshall and Maddie Cramer work during the extended study hall that students have on block days.



Kyra Balyeat has had to adapt to the ever-changing schedule in Lakota during the past few years. The staff has tried everything: full block, seven bells, zero periods, and even modified blocks. After enduring nearly a semester of full seven bell days, the district has decided to experiment with the modified block model that made its most recent appearance nearly three years ago. 

East students were informed of the new schedule via email; attached was a table showing the amended schedule for the two weeks leading up to winter break. This included an extended advisory time and four ninety-minute periods a day on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

One of the factors that was highly anticipated by staff and students was the common advisory time. According to a survey of 126 students from East, 67.2% were able to utilize this time to visit other teachers/clubs. One of these students was junior Abby Theobald.

“I was able to get ahead on homework and study for tests,” Theobald said. “I liked having that time to get things done so I didn’t have to do it at home.”

block schedule graphic

East principal Rob Burnside explains that the district had to take into consideration a variety of factors for this decision to be made.

“There’s district coordination that takes place from that standpoint. There’s technology implications, there’s curriculum implications, there’s contractual implications, because we have people that travel and there’s required planning time and things of that nature,” Burnside said. “So it is a collective effort.”

Burnside also notes the input the administration has received from staff and students within the building. Survey results from East indicate that 60.5% of students are hoping to see the modified block schedule return. One of those students is junior Kyra Balyeat, who thinks that the block schedule has been primarily beneficial.

“I think, especially with advisory, that helps get a lot more things done,” Balyeat said “It’s nice not to have every class every day so you can focus on certain classes.”

There are, however, some downsides to the blocks according to Balyeat.

“Some cons of it, though, are for students who took an extra bell because they assumed they wouldn’t get an advisory period,” Balyeat said. “That’s a lot of downtime.”

Amid all of the positives and negatives that have risen from the schedule, one question still remains, what will be implemented next semester?

Both Burnside and an email sent out to the district conveyed the following information, “As of this time, we anticipate that we will follow our normal 7-Bell daily schedule during the week that we return from the break. In the event that there is a change in direction for that week or future weeks, we will communicate this.”