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Old 09-07-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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The high school in our area has two semesters, four terms.

The kids have four class periods a day - each class period is 83 minutes long.

So their schedule for one term looks like this:

First Period - 83 minutes
Second Period - 83 minutes
Lunch - 40 minutes (off-campus)
Third Period - 83 minutes
Fourth Period - 83 minutes

My question is - are other high schools following schedules such as this, and if so - is it impossible to get a fourth period for your student? Our students are only scheduled three classes - first, second, and third periods. To get a fourth period, we are told by the counselor that parents must "fight" for a fourth period (the exact word she used) and this year we've been told "there aren't enough teachers for kids to have fourth period classes".

Really? Is this normal? Legal? For real?
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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Legal, I have no idea. I can say that I used to have 43 minute periods and most students had what they would call "Study Hall" one period per day or one period every other day. It was actually rather useful if you used it for doing your homework. 83 minutes... every day... seems like a lot.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Our school is (reluctantly) on this schedule and the majority of students have four classes each semester. A few will have study hall or an internship or an off-campus class/commitment.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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BTW - our son's three classes are: Photoshop, Chemistry, and computer graphics design.

He starts school at 8:56, has a 40 minute off-campus lunch, and is done with school before 2pm. And most of his day is spent fiddling around with photoshop and computers... with a little chemistry thrown in.

For real. We were told there were no other core classes available - no english classes, no science classes, no social studies/history, no economics, etc.

I find this ridiculous!
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
BTW - our son's three classes are: Photoshop, Chemistry, and computer graphics design.

He starts school at 8:56, has a 40 minute off-campus lunch, and is done with school before 2pm. And most of his day is spent fiddling around with photoshop and computers... with a little chemistry thrown in.

For real. We were told there were no other core classes available - no english classes, no science classes, no social studies/history, no economics, etc.

I find this ridiculous!
Where do you live that this is ok?? I find this hard to believe.


The schedule you are describing is called a block schedule. It isn't "normal" or "abnormal" just a different way of running a scheduled. I personally am not a a fan of block schedules but other people like them.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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My son HS runs a Modified Block, 3 days a week he has all 7 periods (45? min each). Two days a week he has 'Block' One day he has 3 classes and Focus day, The other day he has the other 4 classes 87 mins.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Yes - a block schedule is what they call it. I'm from Texas where we had 7 classes a day. I don't remember how long each class was but it was something like 50 minutes or less. This block schedule - 4 classes a day for 83 minutes each - feels really weird to me. Most of the students we've spoken to complain that they get totally bored and the teachers let them bring their phones and laptops so they have something to do at the end of the class - texting, facebook, whatever. What a waste of the kids time - and taxpayer money!

Also - where you lined up to change your schedule or speak to someone regarding your schedule, there was a huge list of all the classes currently offered with the number of students enrolled in each class. When the class was full, they listed the number of students wanting that class but who had to wait until there was an opening. So, let's say they couldn't have more than 33 students in a class and the class was full. So it would say "Period 2 Language Arts (teacher name) - 33 - 6" or something to that effect. They fired 8 teachers this year, is the reasoning for not having 4th period classes available.

I just can't believe this is real. I feel like I'm going to wake up in a minute and realize it's all been one of those really frustrating dreams where nothing is what it should be and nobody listens to you.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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I think it's normal for block scheduling. I'm guessing that other core classes will be in the second semester. In our HS one must have four years of the core subjects to graduate, but you could double up in a couple of subjects and then not have that subject for one year. Our students must have their schedules okayed by their parents beforehand and that's done early in the year.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with block scheduling, but I imagine that the longer class periods would allow for more in-depth study. I can see it being very useful if there is overlap between subjects (e.g. literature and history focused on the same time period). It would not appear, however, that the OP's example schedule would meet this criteria.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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Block scheduling is supposed to cover a years worth of material in a semester's time. It is supposed to mirror a college schedule more closely. What happens, often, in high schools though is a child gets their math scheduled first semester, block one of freshman year and then not again until second semester, block two of sophomore year-going a year without ANY math, or science, or whatever. It just doesn't work well in most cases.

Our kids' middle school had a modified block schedule where they had classes every other day--THAT is a fantastic schedule that is really more like college. I would love for our high school to move to this schedule but they aren't.

We have a traditional 7 period day with 57 minute classes here. It's nice because they can get in a lot of courses over the years so it does have advantages.
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