K2 Community Positively Embraces New 55-Minute Blocks

When the news of a new compressed schedule hit students and teachers on November 8th, the reaction was skeptical. Two years ago, during the 2019-2020 school year, every Wednesday schedule consisted of seven, 45-minute blocks. Students attended all six of their project time classes in one day which proved unpopular among students and teachers. Today, on a typical day, the schedule consists of five blocks. Three, 90-minute, project time blocks, a 70-minute, Mentor SDL block, and a 45-minute Summit Reads or Solves block at the end of the day.

“I like these hour-long periods because it’s enough time to get a bunch of work done, but it doesn’t drag on for too long,” said Karen Bush, the Chemistry teacher. 

Peyton, junior at K2, said, “Honestly … I really work in the 55-minute blocks, and … I think they’re productive because … you don’t have an hour, so you can’t play around.  [With 55-minute blocks] you do your work and you go to the next class. It’s that simple. With that hour-and-a-half class, you can [mess around] for the first 30 minutes, but with the 55-minute [blocks], if you [mess around] for the first 30 minutes, you have 25 minutes left.” 

“To be honest, I do like the [55-minute] block. It was very productive for me. [I] have enough time to complete my work,” the Student Government President, Gianna Stephan, said. 

Although most students like the change, some students have some concerns about the new Wednesday blocks. 

“… Other people who don’t have that class [and] have it the day before, … have a longer class time, so they’re able to get the material … some people … don’t pick things up right away,” Aleyzia Walters, a junior at K2, said in an interview with The Independent Dragon

Students were informed on the prior Tuesday about the changes through an email from the Dean of Operations, Kalyn Olson: “Our campus will open Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. per our regular hours … We encourage Dragons to take lunch… as they leave at 12:30 p.m. This schedule will only be for the remainder of 2021.”

Executive Director Lee explained in a parents’ meeting on Tuesday prior to the first half day the reason for the half-day Wednesdays. She said the teachers will be going through training on how to identify students in crisis, how to de-escalate situations, and how to break up the class periods so students get sufficient breaks. 

Ms. Garcia, Chief of Staff for Summit Public Schools, informed The Independent Dragon in an email interview that the reason that the K2 Middle School has minimum days in their schedule is due to the fact that they don’t have Expeditions courses. She went on to say that the time is about equal between the half-day minimum days and  Expeditions, and that this time in both scenarios is used for core class teacher training. If the High School were to introduce minimum days permanently, they would have to give up the Expeditions program.