How Bulldog Block Came to Be


Bulldog Block, a thirty minute “study hour” during the school day, has worn a few different faces over the past few years, though the concept has stayed the same: providing students with the extra time they need to finish work.

Bulldog block has been a great landing spot for busy CHS students to get caught up on homework and seek additional assistance from teachers. Although, it has gone through a series of transformations since its inception two years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were talking about having some form of homeroom period for students,” CHS principal Michael Kapolka said. “We were hearing through senior exit interviews that the time students have outside of school is limited because they’re involved in a lot of things.”

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the Chelsea District School Board found itself having to reprioritize its focus for the benefit of their students’ social and emotional health while stuck at home.

“Students weren’t in live classes so we wanted to prioritize a relationship with a staff member,” Kapolka said. “So, we came up with something called Bulldog Block. Bulldog Block met every single day.”

While Block sessions overall have been beneficial to students’ mental and social health, the frequency per week needed to be reevaluated for the 2021-2022 school year, so the schedule was adjusted to where it is now.

“Once we got into the summer months, we wanted to reflect what worked well, what didn’t work well,” Kapolka said. “It’s kind of like the Goldilocks analogy: was it too much? Too little or just right? So that’s how we landed on two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

CHS staff also benefit from bulldog block, using it as an opportunity to check in with students that might need advice.

“Teachers right now are using Bulldog Block for individual assistance and support for students, checking in on their academic progress, and to see how they’re doing in classes,” Kapolka said.

The placement of Bulldog Block in the daily schedule was very important because it had to compensate for the student body’s diverse schedules.

“One of the main reasons why we ended up doing it before third hour is for our consortium students,” Kapolka said. “If we ended up putting Bulldog Block at any other time during the day, they would miss a very large portion of third hour, and this is one way to ensure that they’re hitting every single one of their classes instructionally on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Despite the schedule’s imperfections, students have appreciated the extra half hour offered before third hour.

“I think that Bulldog Block is placed at a good time, and I think it does help people get things done,” Cecelia Berry (‘25) said.

Many CHS students have full schedules and Block is a twice a week opportunity to finish work and get their grades up. Block can improve students’ work quality and organizational skills.

“It has helped me with time management,” Berry said. “Especially when I have something after school—and I normally have math homework—so it really helps with getting my work done on time.”