Changes in Schedule on the Horizon For DFMS Students


This is the bell schedule for the current year.

Alexandra Attwell

Most kids worst nightmare would be having to sit in a seat doing school work for the same amount of time it would take watching an Avengers movie.

Well, according to Dobbs Ferry Middle School Principal Mr. Patrick Mussolini, Dobbs Ferry School District hopes to create a new schedule in the middle school and high school starting in the 2020/2021 school year that will have students taking classes during “block” periods.

The way that this new schedule will work is the students have roughly half of their classes on one day, and half of their classes on the other day. However, the period or “block” will be about double the time it is now; “Ninety minutes is the maximum amount of time,” said Mr. Mussolini.

A standard amount of time for a student to be in a classroom is 39 – 60 minutes. So some people think that a maximum of ninety minutes is too much for kids, and they will not be able to focus for that amount of time. But other people might think that it will create the students to retain all of the information and feel less rushed.

Like Mr. Mussolini, who thinks that making this schedule will create a more relaxed environment for the students. “It will be easier for the kids.”

Exploratory classes will be the same length of time as the academic classes. Which means that the students will be having their academic/exploratory classes two or three times a week but double the amount of time.

In addition, the length of when school ends is either going to be staying the same or getting shorter.  “If the length of the school day changes, it will only be getting shorter,” Mr. Mussolini said.

With the changes, the students should receive less homework, and it will be due the next time they have class. Mr. Mussolini says, “Yes, the students will be given less homework and it will be due the next time they have that class.”  Which will then give them more time to complete their homework and feel less rushed.

Obviously, with new ideas, comes new worries, but Mussolini is confident that this new schedule will be a positive improvement in the middle school and high school. Students will have more time to complete homework, feel less rushed when in their classes, and retain the information to grow as a student.  

Although the block schedule will not be happening until the 2020-21 school year at the earliest, the DFMS Principal is excited to create a change in the way kids are learning. Mussolini says, “We are trying to create the best schedule possible for the students and the teachers.”