School Schedules: Understanding the 5 main types Orchestra can help with

We understand that different schools have their own unique way of scheduling. Here at Orchestra, we provide an array of schedules to choose from that would fit your scheduling needs. From the basic schedule to the more complex type, we’ve got it all covered. Input data, automate, and your schedule is ready to be published!

Let’s check out the different types of schedules available for you here at Orchestra!

What are the different types of School Schedules?

There are many different types of schedules that can be used by schools and colleges. We take a look into schedules such as the traditional, A/B Block,  4×4 Block, and Rotating Block. Understanding these different types of schedules was how Orchestra was made with the algorithm. The more we understood what you needed, the more it could be done! 

Image from Unlocking Time

Traditional Schedule

We are all familiar with the traditional schedule. Very straightforward and the easiest to put together. A traditional schedule is typically set up such that students have 50 minutes of class time per subject, per day. With about 180 days of each class, it results in 9,000 minutes of total class time. Students attend 6 to 7 classes every day depending on the subjects your school offers during the same time slot.

In short, the traditional schedule sets out fixed subjects at a fixed time for students every day for the rest of the academic year.  All classes start and end at the same time, followed by the same subjects in the same sequence, and are of the same duration for each class. 

One of the advantages of traditional scheduling is that teachers get to meet each student every day, which helps students to adapt to classes and retain information better. Daily interactions will keep their minds energized and having a familiar setting allows students to feel more comfortable. Perhaps even having a safer space to be in which allows them to feel more secure.  

But do you feel that the traditional schedule is way too rigid for your students? Worried that some students may find the pace of class too quick and hence might be unable to catch up with the syllabus? Or are you concerned about how boring it would get for your students to repeat the exact routine every day?

Perhaps what you need is a more unique schedule that would spice up the learning experience and make classes more interesting for your students. Fret not! Keep on scrolling to find out other more flexible options in building your master schedule.

A/B Block Schedule

We must understand that the A/B Block Schedule does not use the block schedule by semester approach. Classes are rotated on different days. Students alternate classes (every other day). They attend all classes for the entire school year. Rather than dividing the block schedule by semesters, some schools may opt for an A/B block schedule structure. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays (Block A), students may have English, Mathematics, Science, and Geography. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Block B), they’ll have Art, French, Physical Education, and History. The schedule will rotate each Friday between Block A and Block B.

4×4 Block Schedule

Students attend the same 4 classes (longer periods) daily. They complete their first block of classes (i.e. English, Social Studies, Science, Elective) halfway through the school year. In the second half of the year, they take 4 new classes (i.e. Math, World Language, Physical Education, Elective).

Multiple Period Flex Block

What is a flex period in school schedules?

A Flex Time Period is a set time in the daily schedule (usually around 20 to 45 minutes) where students go somewhere different each day, as opposed to a fixed subject they attend every day. The school gets to decide what kind of activities students can attend during these flex periods.

With a multi-period flex block, it allows you to schedule your own unique situation. For instance, labs, advisory, or tutorials.

Are blocks and periods the same thing?

The traditional method of scheduling, known as period scheduling, means that students attend six or seven classes daily for the length of the school year. However, for a block schedule, the class time is increased and students will attend fewer classes daily as opposed to more classes with shorter class time.

Rotating Block Schedule

Image from Unlocking Time

A rotating block schedule is most useful for schools and colleges that cater to a large number of students. Although it is a tad bit complicated to get started with, the rotating block schedule allows for more options and increases flexibility. A flex block may be held on different days, alternating with advisory or another block with a specified purpose.

We hope you found this article helpful! Which schedule do you think would meet your tailored requirements best? Have you yet to decide on your own unique master schedule? Book a free consultation with Orchestra today. 

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