Students to be assigned Bruin Block locations

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Bruin Block: the largely helpful,  study hall-like block of time given to students, has been used to its fullest extent over the years. Whether to complete homework, receive assistance from teachers for a specific class or to make up missing work, Bruin Block has proven almost essential to a large majority of students in the school. However, the schedule for which LB’s students have grown accustomed to has been replaced by a newer, more efficient schedule.

In past years, Bruin Block has consisted of one, hour-long period on Wednesdays, and four 30-minute periods for the other school days.

This year’s schedule is different, in that students will no longer be able to self-select their own classes. Instead, the classes that students go to will be determined by the corresponding day.

On MondayTuesdayThursdayFriday, you’ll go to a set schedule of classes,” principal Dave Thomas said, “andWednesday will continue to be student choice.”

The idea behind this change in schedule is to fully maximize the student body’s ability to keep caught up with their classes and to make sure that they succeed in school.

“The purpose of Bruin Block is, at the very core, to support student learning,” Thomas said.

With that principle in mind, the change was made based on the need to get students to the classes that they need to go to.

“The kids that were not passing classes and were struggling in their classes, based on their choice, were not getting to where they were supposed to be,” Thomas said.

Students not choosing the correct classes to go to was only a minor issue. With so much freedom and with so little supervision, much more serious problems occurred.

“Students were cutting class, and a fair number of our recommendations for expulsions last year took place during Bruin Block,” Thomas said.

A few questions arose concerning the effectiveness of the new system. Some concerns include whether or not a student would be able to go to a certain class every day if they really needed help in that class.

“We’ve built in the flex option,” Thomas said. “All you have to do is get permission from the teacher whose class you want to go to, and the teacher whose class you’re going to miss.”

This flex option has been installed in order to still give students the option to decide where they want to go, while still keeping track of where students are.

“I understand that [the students] want the flexibility to be able to go where they need to receive help,”  Thomas said. “I’m trying to balance that with being able to make us more accountable.”

Students are not the only ones whom this new schedule is aimed at helping, as teachers are also a large part of this decision.

“There are some classes that some kids don’t ever choose to go to,” Thomas said, “and teachers were actually happy about the set schedule in the sense that at least now they know that they’re going to have kids for days that they’re assigned.”

The last issue that remains with this schedule would be whether teachers will be tempted to teach new curriculum to their classes during Bruin Block, instead of dedicating the period to helping students. This is not an issue as teachers are not permitted to teach any new material of any kind during Bruin Block.

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