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PENNCREST high schools return to in-person hybrid block schedule on Jan. 26

By Amanda Crowl, Editor in Chief

Earlier today PENNCREST Superintendent Timothy Glasspool released a memo  stating the following: “On January 26, 2021, all students will return for in-person learning Monday – Friday following the School Board approved 20-21 school calendar.”

In follow-up communication with Dr. Glasspool, the Panther Press has learned that for students in grades 7-12 at Saegertown, Maplewood, and Cambridge Springs this signals a return to the hybrid block schedule, which features extended period ‘block days’ on Wednesdays and Thursdays and restores the intervention/WINN period on Thursday afternoons.

According to Saegertown Assistant Principal Kylene Koper, there are several benefits to this move. “The hybrid block schedule allows us to have the time we need on Thursdays for interventions, club meetings, assemblies, and other activities,” Koper said. “In addition, from a pandemic safety standpoint, having longer classes and fewer class changes on those days also limits interactions between students.” Koper noted that the current seven-period every day schedule was devised when the district started the virtual hybrid ABABC schedule to provide consistency for the students on days they attended school.

The hybrid block schedule, which was implemented in the Fall of 2019 as part of the district’s 18-month plan, is designed to allow for more in-depth class activities, with four 85-minute classes on Wednesdays and three on Thursdays (along with the intervention period).

Students have mixed feelings about the hybrid block. “I am personally glad to be going back to school fully in person,” freshman Chloe Wensel said. “But I would prefer the shorter seven periods with tutorial every day schedule, because I feel like classes are more productive whey they are not 85 minutes long.”

Juniors Jaden Wilkins and Brittany Houck welcomed the announcement. “It will be especially good for the science classes,” Wilkins said. “We’ll be able to get back to doing labs without being rushed, and the teachers will be able to give us the full extent of their help.” Houck agreed. “It seems like the block days are the one day where everything clicks into place,” Houck said. “You understand things better because you get to spend more individual time with the teachers.” 

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