Pros and Cons of Transferring from Block to Traditional Mid-Semester


Kayla Turner

Having a fresh start at a new school, despite leaving a school you love, still offers great promise.  It’s not easy though.

Most students won’t fit in at first. Always try so be friendly and avoid making enemies those first few days. Get to know teachers, pay attention in class, and avoid worrying about memorizing the school layout too much. Ask questions of other students to break the ice and  spark a conversation.

Try to stay excited about a fresh start, even though its not easy. Do some research on the new school before going there, particularly with regard to the type of schedule the school runs.

Changing school from block to traditional schedule mid-year could have negative consequences. Block Schedule covers a lot more a lot faster than traditional. If a student transfers from block to traditional, they may have already completed a lot of the traditional schedule coursework.

Block scheduling moves much faster because a class is 90 minutes vs 50. If a student were to miss a week on block schedule, it could equate to missing about a week-and-a-half on traditional. Transferring schools from one schedule to another must be heavily weighed.

Many argue block scheduling is more effective than traditional scheduling because it offers students more instructional time with fewer classes and less time class-changing transition time built into a school day. Others suggest block allows more time for reflection and less subject information to process over the course of a school day, benefiting learning. Longer classes can be difficult, though, because student attention spans generally run between 20 to 50 minutes.

There are many positives about traditional scheduling, too, such as more electives so students can explore more subject areas, and smaller class sizes, which helps all students, but particularly students with IEPS (Individualized Education Program). 

If students transfer from a block schedule school to a traditional schedule school during a school year, they must select four additional classes. If the new school doesn’t offer all the courses from the other school, a student must  pick from the new school’s selections. Oftentimes, electives are changed or dropped in order to acomodate academic courses, or other courses needed for graduation.

Think through any decision to change schools midyear. Sometimes the change is unavoidable. If that’s the case, make the best of it. Other times, it might be in a student’s best interest to wait until the new school year begins.