My school is moving to a 12-day rotating schedule where class times range from 40 minutes to 90 minutes. Moving classes to different times of the day reduces the likelihood that students will do poorly because of their physiology. Classes meet sometimes when students are at their best and sometimes when their attention is not at full strength. In addition, only four of major subjects will meet on any given day. I am excited because the longer class periods are more conducive to projects and I am a huge fan of activity-based learning.
A side effect of block scheduling is that teachers need to prepare and be FLEXIBLE. For example, a class can meet three, four or five times a week. When a class meets three times a week, the classes will be on the longer side, but it still takes PLANNING. Looking at the calendar, it is possible that when a class meets three times, it will do so on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. In these situations I will not see a class for four days - two week days and the weekend. It is CRITICAL to spend time summarizing each class for reinforcement and reviewing at the start of each class. The biggest wildcard will be events that interfere with the normal rotation, such as standardized testing, play/musical rehearsals, and special assemblies.
Block scheduling is good because it provides for longer class periods. This may or not be good based on faculty. If they do not plan carefully, then students will get lost from the lack of continuity. The extended class periods should be used for more project-based learning. I believe that successful implementation will rely on teachers being flexible. Teachers must be willing to try new activities and projects and revisit topics when necessary. I would love to hear from teachers who have been teaching in this format.