Thursday, March 22, 2007

School Schedules Part 1 - Block vs. Period Scheduling

The below post is the first in a series of post dealing with alternatives to the traditional school calendar and school day. Charles County Public Schools currently uses block scheduling in an A/B pattern in most, if not all, of its middle schools.

An article by the Center for Public Education...

Types of block schedules

  1. The trimester plan: The school year is organized into three sessions (trimesters), with students attending two core classes per trimester. These core classes can be coupled with up to three other year-long elective classes. Students complete the core classes in 60 days and then move on to another two core classes.
  2. The 4x4 block: The school day is divided into four blocks, with classes lasting anywhere from 85 to 100 minutes with additional time for lunch and transitions. Students complete in one semester what would have taken them a full year in traditional schedules.
  3. The alternating plan (also known as the 8-block plan or the A/B plan): Using this format, students attend eight blocks of classes (again, typically 90 minutes long) over two days.
  4. The 75-75-30 plan: This scheduling plan is one in which students take three classes each for two 75-day terms, followed by a 30-day intensive course or enrichment program.

Benefits of block scheduling

  1. More time on task
  2. Depth and breadth
  3. More opportunities for planning and professional development
  4. Stronger adult-child relationships
  5. Studies indicate that discipline problems decrease (O’Neil, 1995; Freeman, 2001)

To view the complete article and statistics, click HERE.


Heather Brooks said...

Some of this sounds good - particularly the part about finishing a subject quicker.

I do know that my step-kids attend/attended Annapolis HS and they moved to block schedules where you take one set of classes one day and another set the next day - they HATED it AND if you missed a homework assignment or something happened it would be an entire day before you would see the teacher again, it drug lots of stuff out, particularly for my step-son who wasn't always doing work and to check up on him and get info was tough because we'd have to wait a couple of days for answers. It was a mess. I don't know if anybody else actually liked the different schedule, but we hated it. 90-100 classes sounds long to me for kids to be sitting still.

Anonymous said...

Ask the teachers at any middle school that has block scheduling.

This is a joke. It's chucky county's way of keeping rotten kids out of the
hallways. If they can't enforce discipline without the threat of some
scumbag lawyer suing a teacher for grabbing some kid in a fight, they revert to the "Block-head" scheduling concept. It's an utter mess, and any sane teacher will attest to that.