Block Scheduling FAQ
As a response to barriers identified by our teachers, our high schools are moving from their current hybrid schedule to a more traditional 4 x 4 block schedule in the 2017-2018 school year. Our goal is to impact important instructional initiatives, implementing the three-part lesson framework with a student led closing, project based, hands-on learning, and engaging with instructional technology. In addition, the new schedule provides teachers time to participate in required Professional Learning Communities, allowing them to plan data driven differentiated lessons. We also want to meet the recommendation from our last Advanced Ed visit to provide structures that permit each student to have meaningful relationships with teachers which enhances feedback and communication.
Block scheduling has been a popular high school model for many years with the vast majority of block schools, teachers, and students being satisfied with the schedule. On a 4 x 4 block schedule, a student would typically have two academic and two elective courses per semester. A teacher would typically teach three classes with one planning per semester. Classes run 85-90 minutes depending on variables such as class transition time and number of lunches needed.
As with any schedule, careful planning is critical. District representatives are working with school administrators, schedulers, counselors, and teachers to ensure that we are prepared to implement a new schedule and that all content area needs are addressed. There are unique scenarios and student needs at each school which can still be addressed in a variety of ways, just as that individuality has been addressed in our current schedule.