This week, ORRHS launched its new schedule with a specialized period called the “Bulldog Block.”
Announced last school year, the Bulldog Block is a shared school-wide period aimed towards making academic help and clubs more accessible to students – things that usually take place after school, meaning that conflicts between sports, multiple clubs, and jobs often occur.
The Bulldog Block ran for 35 minutes each day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of last week (Monday was a holiday and Thursday was a late start for the high school).
Here’s how the Bulldog Block works:
During the first school day of each week, students will meet with their assigned advisor and plan out what they will do during the period for the rest of the week. Students can also be pre-assigned by teachers on certain days to make up tests or attend a club meeting.
Members of the Dreamfar club, which trains for and runs a marathon each year, were one of the first groups to plan a meeting during the Bulldog Block.
“We discussed new team names and colors because we’re forming a separate SouthCoast high school marathon club,” said senior Hannah Powers.
In addition to extra help and clubs, student meetings are also slated to take place during the block. For example, on Friday the freshman class had an assembly on the roles of the student government positions ahead of their class election. The National Honor Society also had their first gathering of the year, coincidentally on the subject of NHS elections as well.
With their first week of Bulldog Blocks under their belt, many voice their support for the budding program. In a class of 18 seniors, all unanimously agreed that the Bulldog Block was generally helpful for them.
“It’s convenient for meetings, but not so much for working on homework assignments,” said senior Grace Stephens. “With only thirty-five minutes, it’s not feasible for getting anything major done.”
The general consensus among teachers was positive as well. In multiple subjects, teachers have begun organizing certain days of the week for different levels of their courses to come for help.
“I spent time helping a third-year student today and it went really well,” said Latin teacher Judy Pretat. “At the moment, the Bulldog Block makes the day feel really long, but once we get used to it, it will be fine. I honestly think it’s a really good idea, especially since it’ll keep us from pulling certain leadership club members out of classes for meetings.”
ORR’s new technology teacher MJ Linane said, “I think it’s a much better management of after school activities.” He continued, “When people have to plan in advance about what they’re going to do for each day, they make a much more thoughtful choice. I’d like to see the directed studies become a version of this.”
By Jo Caynon