A/B BLOCK SCHEDULING

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1 A/B BLOCK SCHEDULING Colonial Forge High School Stafford High School February 24, 2009

2 During a Traditional 6 ½-Hour School Day A typical student will engage in 9 different activities in nine different locations A teacher will prepare for and teach five classes, engaging with over 150 students in the classroom

3 Traditional Schedule 7 Classes per day 28 Credits in four years 45-minute class periods 20-minute lunch Limited selection of electives Teacher load = 150 students Repeats are done in the summer or during the following year

4 What is Block Scheduling? Organizes at least part of the school day into larger blocks of time; fewer classes per day Extended class periods allow teachers more opportunities to implement differentiated instruction strategies Flexibility of schedule Provide additional opportunities for remediation, guided practice, and/or enrichment and extension all in the same class period

5 Types of Block Scheduling A/B or Alternating Day Schedule - students take four classes one day and four different classes the next day, repeating the process for the entire school year 4 x 4 Block school year is divided two 90-day semesters; four 90-minute classes daily Hybrid Block Scheduling combination of the aforementioned examples, and may include additional variations involving classes that meet everyday

6 A/B Alternating Block 8 classes per year Schedule Students earn up to 32 credits minute class periods 4 classes per day 30-minute lunch Expanded elective course selections Teacher load = 75 students each day Length of school day/school year unchanged A/B Block is most like the 7-period day

7 Sample A/B Block A B Four classes daily alternate on A/B schedule School may have three or four lunch periods Variations depend on needs of student population

8 Time Period Length A B 7:40-9:05 85 minutes 1 st 9:10-10:40 10:40 90 minutes 3rd 2 nd 4 th 10:40-11:10 11:10 11:15-12:45 12:45 30 minutes 90 minutes First Lunch 5A First Lunch 6A 10:45-11:30 11:30 11:30-11:55 11:55 12:00-12:45 12:45 45 minutes 30 minutes 45 minutes 5B Second Lunch 5B 6B Second Lunch 6B 10:45-12:15 12:15 12:15-12:45 12:45 90 minutes 30 minutes 5C Third Lunch 6C Third Lunch 12:50-2:15 2:15 85 minutes 7th 8 th

9 Potential Advantages for Students Fewer classes on which to focus Opportunity to take additional advanced and elective courses in a year (8 classes/year) Increased facilitation of transfer in and out of other Virginia schools (majority of Virginia high schools on block) More time for inquiry-based activities Better prepared for post-secondary secondary schedule Smaller teacher/student ratio in classroom

10 Potential Advantages for Teachers More opportunities to address various learning styles of students, integrate instructional technologies, and conduct labs and projects Responsible for fewer students in class More time to get to know their students strengths, needs, and preferred ways of learning Time for collaborative planning

11 Research Carroll, J. (1994) Organizing Time to Support Learning Casey, Patricia. (2003), Teaching Mathematics on the Block, U.S. Department of Education Glickman, Carl. University of Georgia professor Equal or better mastery and retention of material Reduction in suspensions and dropout rates Improved relationships between students and teachers Increased attendance Fewer class changes resulted in fewer disciplinary problems Active learning methods result in significant achievement as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress

12 Research Schroth & Dixon "The Effects of Block Scheduling on Student Performance" International Journal of Education Reform, vol. 5, 1996, pp York, T. (1997). A Comparative Analysis of Student Achievement in Block and Traditionally Scheduled High Schools Lapkin et. al. (1997) Block Scheduling Slightly higher national math achievement scores than schools on traditional schedule Compared 10 th grade mathematics, reading and writing scores No statistically significant differences were found. Higher levels of reading and writing proficiency

13 WHY NOW? In light of increasing student populations coupled with corresponding increases in class size and pupil teacher ratios, block scheduling will allow us to add additional and needed course sections with the intention of decreasing class size without lengthening the school day Final Report of Block Scheduling Evaluation Study found that academic performance was generally up among all high schools and that the scheduling option chosen could neither be considered positive or negative relative to results Colonial Forge has been informally exploring block scheduling, via a teacher instructional team, for the past three years

14 Exploratory Efforts Thus Far Grass roots discussions with instructional staff Staff survey completed Initial informational letters mailed home to all Stafford High and Colonial Forge families Parent informational night held to share and receive feedback Tonight!

15 Challenges Time Frame Teacher Training Revision and realignment of Curriculum Maps and Pacing Guides Differentiated Instruction - Lesson Planning - Varied Activities - Implementing and Managing Transitions School Visitation Student Adjustment Information to middle school students Grade 9 information/orientation

16 Timeline Feb 09 Mar 09 April 09 Letter, Presentation to Parents Information posted on School Fusion Presentation to School Board Members Guidance Counselors to talk with students in classes Schedule students next year s Master Schedule Guidance to talk with individual students to address scheduling opportunities and challenges Guidance to talk to rising freshmen in middle schools Teacher training and staff development for implementation April Teacher Workday Focus on Differentiated Instruction (DI) strategies

17 Timeline Summer 09 Fall 09 Staff development Curriculum map and pacing guide review; PDS focusing on instructional strategies and techniques Rising Freshmen orientation program School-wide implementation of A/B Block Winter 09 and Beyond Continued Implementation of A/B Block Ongoing Evaluation of Alternating Block Schedule

18 Questions?

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