Breaking Out of the Box with Bridge Block

Abington High Rolls Out a New Schedule 

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On Monday, October 21, Abington High School began a new schedule called Bridge Block. A Bridge Block schedule offers built in time, called bridge block, where teachers can schedule students for extra help. Or, this time can simply be used for students to relax and catch up on their own work. 

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The new block schedule had been an idea for over a year. Mrs. Louko, the Assistant Principal, is the one behind the idea of a new schedule. She stated, “Dr. Sullivan [principal of AHS] and I attended the Massachusetts School Administrator’s Association professional development conference in 2018 where several schools were presenting about the idea of  flexible time for students.” Mrs. Louko then brought the idea back to the high school.  she stated, “The idea is in response to the over-scheduled and stressed adolescent who is struggling to find success with all of the demands and responsibilities on their plate.”  

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The idea is in response to the over-scheduled and stressed adolescent who is struggling to find success with all of the demands and responsibilities on their plate.”

— Assistant Principal Mrs. Louko

Recently, some students of Abington High were asked how they felt about the new schedule. Senior Kayli Tobin said, “I like the new schedule. It gives me extra time to get my work done and it’s a good outlet to have in case I need extra help from teachers.” 

Another senior, Kerry Cardinalsaid, “The new block schedule is all right, but I don’t like that my teachers fill up so fast so I can’t always use it to my advantage. But I like how I have extra time to get work done.” 

Although so far it seems that most students like the new schedule, there are few that do not. Senior Alex LaRosa said, “I feel like it is inconvenient to drop a class every day. If students need help, they should find time themselves.” 

Preparing the new bridge block schedule took preparationMrs. Louko said, “As a school, we did a lot of training to add a new technology program for scheduling and to teach both teachers and students how to use it. While the whole program and schedule is a work in progress, we plan to ask students and teachers for feedback after being invested for at least the first half of the school year.” 

Having currently completed one full cycle of the new block schedule, multiple students have stated that it has not been a hard adjustment. There are postings in the school of what bridge block day it is, and many teachers within the school have set up schedules in their classrooms to help students understand the schedule.  

The ultimate goal of the new bridge block schedule goes beyond academics. Mrs. Louko said, “Our hope is that students form even stronger relationships with their mentors and teachers and find their own individualized ways to engage in their coursework. We believe that giving students time and choice over their schedule in this way will allow them to be better prepared for their future in academics and the workforce.” 

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