The New Schedule Change That Came to PAHS


Maddi Kriebel and Mischa Shaffer

Punxsutawney High School – Students are rethinking the idea of block scheduling. According to a recent survey, 70% of students said they would rather have eight classes for 40 minutes instead of 4 classes for 70 minutes.

Block scheduling is a form of academic scheduling in which students have fewer classes for a longer period of time per day. PAHS adapted this form of scheduling for the 2022-2023 school year. More than two teachers are liking the idea of the longer class periods, while students are not. 


From a Teacher’s Perspective

“I’m enjoying all the extra time I’m getting with my academic biology students. It means we can dig deeper in the curriculum and do more labs and hands-on activities,” said Paige Zinzella, biology teacher.

Zinzella said she is able to go deeper in the biology curriculum and have more time doing hands-on activities. With the new schedule she said she is able to teach Biology Connections, which is a new course that was added to her curriculum. This class is offered to ninth grade students in the general curriculum. Zinzella said she thinks that the new schedule is a way to help students get prepared for college classes because it is how college courses meet. She said that teachers are getting extra prep time at the end of the day. “Classes that meet every other day have less instructional time than last year. Plus, since they meet every other day, they require more review,” she said. 


“Pros are that there is more time for discussion, and the day goes by very fast . Another pro is that I am teaching less subjects this year which is kinda nice cause ordinarily I teach a lot of subjects. It is nice to reduce my overall load.”  said Phil Shenkle, social studies teacher.

Shenkle said he overall likes the new schedule. He said he enjoys having more time for discussions and likes how the day goes by rather quickly. Shenkle said he got some class changes to what he is teaching and believes that it is actually a good thing because it takes down his workload. 


“I think it is good because it gives more time to settle into the topic that you are trying to teach,” said Michelle Hutton, English teacher.

Hutton said that she is able to go more in depth with the curriculum and she likes that she can take more time to teach a certain subject. She said however that if a student is absent it is difficult for them to make up their work because many days go by before they can see their teacher again. 

From a Student’s Perspective

“At first I kinda thought I was going to hate it but I’ve grown to like it a whole lot more. I’m able to get a lot of my homework done, I’m able to go home stress free, and just relax and listen to music,” said sophomore Kaden Heigley. 

Heigley said he is able to go home stress free and relax because he is able to get his homework done in the STAR periods. He said he is able to go home and spend time with his family and listen to music. He also said he is able to spend more time on his hobbies including playing sports. He said he  is also happy with the classes he is in, but faces a conflict in the third and fourth nine weeks. 


“I did the calculations and we are losing 28 days of learning,” said sophomore Mary Grusky. 

Grusky said  is not a fan of the new schedule. She said that she would rather go back to the old schedule because she feels she is able to learn more from the old schedule. She is said to have done the calculations last school year and the student body is losing 28 days of learning because of the new scheduling format. Grusky said she was added to a class she did not schedule, but she is enjoying the class and thinks it is a very interactive class.