The ModifiedBlock ScheduleBoard of Commissioners’ Meeting April 19, 2010 1
Historical Context for the Block High school reform efforts span three centuries Three important voices on high school reforms: Committee of Ten (1893): courses, sequence, length A Nation at Risk (1983): higher expectations, more time Cuban (2004): “continues…to receive scorching censure” Books that have guided the reform of high schools: Boyer (1983) High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America Goodlad (1984) A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future Sizer (1992) Horace’s School: Redesigning the American High School“We must not stop with providing only time. I would always choose fewer hours well-used over more hours of engagement with sterile activities. Increasing time will in fact be counterproductive, unless there is simultaneously marked improvement in how time is used.” (Goodlad, 1984, p. 283) 2
Historical Context for the BlockBlock Scheduling emerged as means to accomplish the following: Include more challenging subjects in the curriculum Increase graduation requirements Implement more rigorous standards Promote smaller learning communitiesZapeda and Mayers (2006) 3
Findings from Zapeda and Mayers (2006)Their meta-analysis was empirically inconclusive overall, however:Effects on teachers’ instructional practices and perceptions• Teachers believe block scheduling allows them more time to focus oninstructional objectives and experiment with different teaching strategiesEffects on change and block scheduling• Teachers say that students feel less anxious as the result of having moreinstructional timeEffects of implementing block scheduling• Student disciplinary referrals are reduced on a block scheduleEffects of block schedule on student learning• Students on block schedule have been shown to outperform students ontraditional schedule on standardized tests and grade point averagesEffects on students’ perceptions• Students have positive perceptions about block scheduling 4
Consensus DecisionFor the 2010-2011 school year, thecurrent A/B Block Schedule will bemodified to reflect mutual resolution ofissues discussed by district academicpersonnel and the Scheduling Task Force.
Scheduling Task ForceFor the current school year (2009-10), district academicpersonnel proposed a student academic schedule that wouldprovide more engaged teaching and learning to increasecontent mastery and allow greater flexibility in meeting theacademic needs of all students, including our highly mobilestudents.District academic leaders supported an A/B block schedule thatincluded 90 minute classes twice per week, a student courseload of 7 courses, and teacher planning periods every otherday. The plan was for students to also have activity periods thatwould allow further exploration into their areas of academic orcareer interest or more in depth understanding of areas ofacademic deficiency. 6
Scheduling Task ForceAs with any major new initiative, programmatic andadministrative issues arose as the implementation processproceeded.To resolve these issues, district leaders convened a 16-membertask force representing principals, teachers, and parents. Thetask force was charged with the responsibility of working withdistrict academic administrators to develop a block scheduleupon which both district administrators and members of thetask force would agree. 7
Scheduling Task ForceAs stated above, district academic administrators preferred anA/B block schedule with 90 minute classes twice per week, astudent course load of 7 courses and teacher planning periodsevery other day.The Scheduling Task Force preferred the traditional schedule,with 7 class periods and daily teacher planning periods.After much discussion and compromise on both sides, districtacademic administrators and the Scheduling Task Force agreedupon a Modified Block Schedule that meets the needs of ourstudents and teachers. 8
Benefits of the Modified Block Schedule to Students Modifications … Students will take a maximum of 7 credit courses. (Seniors may take 8 if needed to graduate on time.) All students will have an Enrichment Period. Students will see their teachers a minimum of 3 days each week. Students will be able to better manage and “keep up” with their schedules because the schedule will remain the same each week. 9
Benefits of the Modified Block Schedule to Students Continuing benefits … Graduation rates should increase: Students will continue to have greater opportunity to meet the state’s new graduation requirements. Students who have fallen behind can catch up more easily and graduate on time. Highly mobile students have their scheduling needs more easily met. Students have increased access to dual credit courses, electives, and Careers and Technology courses. Students and teachers have longer periods of uninterrupted instructional time. 10
Benefits of the Modified Block Schedule to Teachers Modifications … Teachers will have increased planning time. Teachers will have planning periods every day. Teachers will see their students a minimum of 3 days each week. Missed school days (e.g. snow days) will be less problematic because the schedule will stay the same each week, and the “C” day can be adjusted as needed. Teachers will teach 6 classes and be responsible for a portion of an Enrichment Period. 11
Benefits of the Modified Block Schedule to Teachers Continuing benefits … Teachers have longer periods of uninterrupted instructional time. Teachers are able to use more varied and interactive teaching methods. 12
Enrichment PeriodsEnrichment Periods will allow students to take advantage of awide menu of options, such as: • labs (e.g., A.P. classes) • eLearning • internships • mentoring • tutoring/interventions • service learning • career counseling • test prep (ACT, SAT, state End-of-Course Exams) • post-secondary prep (college applications, etc.) • ThinkShow! and capstone projects • seminars • mini-noncredit courses 13
Sample Student Modified Block Schedule Time Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Day "A" & "B" Day "C" Day "A" Day "B" Day "C" Day "A" Day "B" 7:30 -- 7:45 7:30 -- 7:40 HR HR HR HR HR7:50 -- 7:45 -- 8:25 1st Period 2nd Period 1st Period 1st Period 2nd Period -- 9:15 8:30 -- 9:10 2nd Period9:20 -- 9:15 -- 9:55 3rd Period 4th Period 3rd Period 3rd Period 4th Period -- 10:45 10:00 -- 10:40 4th Period10:50 -- 10:45 -- 5th/Lunch* 6th/Lunch* 5th/6th/Lunch** 5th/Lunch* 6th/Lunch* -- 12:50 -- 12:4512:55 -- 12:50 -- 1:30 7th Period 8th Period 7th Period 7th Period 8th Period -- 2:15 1:35 -- 2:15 8th Period * 90 minute classes, 30 minute lunch ** 40 minute classes, 30 minute lunch
Professional DevelopmentThe Office of Staff Development and Staff In-Service will provideongoing professional development to support teachers’ efforts tochange their classroom practices, namely instruction,assessment, and management. Online Professional Development • 9 modules specific to teaching within the 90-minute block • available 24/7 Summer Teachers’ Conference: Strengthening the Effectiveness Framework (July 27 – 29) Ongoing Support (e.g. demonstrations) from the Office of Staff Development and Regional Offices 15
The Modified Block ScheduleThank you for the opportunity to share this information! 16
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