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Old 09-12-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
That's correct, but contrary to the claims used by folks to justify a block schedule, teachers on block generally have larger class sizes due to fewer sections offered per period. ...
This is very true at our school. In all three of my son classes there are kids literally sitting on the floor they are so crowded.

And we cannot pick up a fourth period class at all because there aren't enough teachers to teach anymore classes.

It's a mess.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:48 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
Reputation: 10471
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Can you describe what a half year block schedule is?

I'm the OP of the other thread. I didn't mind discussing the block schedules there but I am glad you started a new thread anyway!

As I described in that other thread, my son in 10th grade goes to a school with two semesters. Each semester is divided into two terms. So you have four terms per year.

Each term they are supposed to have 4 classes.

So their schedule looks like this:

Semester 1 Term 1
period 1 - 83 minutes
period 2 - 83 minutes
lunch
period 3 - 83 minutes
period 4 - 83 minutes

...and then again three more times for a total of four terms.

Each term the students have four new and different classes, earning .5 a credit. So they could potentially earn 8 credits each year.

So using my son's schedule as an example... he will have his math credit and 2 elective credits term 1. His language arts credit and 2 elective credits term 2. His science credit and two elective credits term 3. Another math credit and two electives credits term 4. We still have not been able to add a fourth period class at all, for any terms, so even though there are four periods per term, he only has three classes per term so far.

Is there a name for that sort of block schedule?
So your son's school changes to different classes each QUARTER? Did I read this correctly?
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
21,026 posts, read 15,233,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Can you describe what a half year block schedule is?

I'm the OP of the other thread. I didn't mind discussing the block schedules there but I am glad you started a new thread anyway!

As I described in that other thread, my son in 10th grade goes to a school with two semesters. Each semester is divided into two terms. So you have four terms per year.

Each term they are supposed to have 4 classes.

So their schedule looks like this:

Semester 1 Term 1
period 1 - 83 minutes
period 2 - 83 minutes
lunch
period 3 - 83 minutes
period 4 - 83 minutes

...and then again three more times for a total of four terms.

Each term the students have four new and different classes, earning .5 a credit. So they could potentially earn 8 credits each year.

So using my son's schedule as an example... he will have his math credit and 2 elective credits term 1. His language arts credit and 2 elective credits term 2. His science credit and two elective credits term 3. Another math credit and two electives credits term 4. We still have not been able to add a fourth period class at all, for any terms, so even though there are four periods per term, he only has three classes per term so far.

Is there a name for that sort of block schedule?
Is your son's school on a year-round schedule?
My grand-daughter's HS is on a half-year block. That means that she has the same four classes from the start of school until winter break and a different set of four after the break through the end of the school year.

It is essentially replicating the local university schedule which gives the kids the opportunity to take dual-credit courses, do internships, etc. at the college level while still in HS. Our school year also runs from mid-August through just before Memorial Day, again, pretty much following the university schedule, so, the timing of AP testing is less of an issue for us.

We do have one specialized HS in town that does a quarterly block, however, that school runs on a year-round schedule, with around two weeks off between the end and start of each quarter.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,285,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Can you describe what a half year block schedule is?
Half year block is set up so that you take an entire year's worth of a class in 1 semester. Instead of 45 minutes a day, every day, all year, you take it 90 minutes a day, every day, for 1 semester. You only have 4 classes at a time to accommodate this.

Same amount of seat time, just in fewer days.

What you're describing seems like semester long classes, blocked into a quarter. At 83 minutes a day for 1 quarter, that's not long enough to be a year long class. It seems like you would need 2 math/2 english/2 science/2 history blocks each year to get a full years' worth of material.

Does your son have a counselor at school? When I was in HS, they were big on making us create a "four year plan" as freshmen, detailing what we would take each semester to make sure we graduated on time with all the required classes. It might help to have someone explain to you how he's going to get all his requirements over the next few years.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
So your son's school changes to different classes each QUARTER? Did I read this correctly?
Yes. Four terms. The school year is broken up into two semesters, each semester having two terms. I've never heard anyone call them quarters and on the schedule and calendars it says term but yes - four terms a year quarters up the year so yes, basically quarters would also be the same thing? They just call them terms here for whatever reason. Each term is 9 weeks long. And each term they have four 83 minute class periods.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerLily24 View Post
Is your son's school on a year-round schedule?
Nope. We start the first week of September and end mid-June.

I read somewhere (don't remember where... maybe it was Oregonlive.com?) that Oregon not only has one of the shortest school years in the nation but also has among the shortest school days as well.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Does your son have a counselor at school? When I was in HS, they were big on making us create a "four year plan" as freshmen, detailing what we would take each semester to make sure we graduated on time with all the required classes. It might help to have someone explain to you how he's going to get all his requirements over the next few years.
Yes we've been meeting with his counselor, have seen the scheduler twice, and this morning I actually was so upset I was crying while trying to talk to the records admin. The only person we have not met yet is his advisor (he has a counselor and an advisor and for the life of me/us I cannot figure out what the difference is) but the assigned advisor was laid-off and the new one has not been assigned yet. I mean I was actually crying like a big baby this morning while I was trying to talk with the records admin. I'm just so frustrated.

They swear that he has a good schedule, that there's nothing to worry about. They still could not give him a fourth period.

I'm sorry I think I'm hijacking.

This high school has been doing this block scheduling for 7 years, I just learned today, and they are defending it tooth and nail. Even though every day all day there are parents lined up out the door (literally, I'll take a photo next time I'm there) fed up and upset with this system. This morning I was in line for 45 minutes before I finally was able to speak to someone. They basically said, "Sorry. We're full. We don't have anything for your kid."

I understand how longer class periods could be beneficial - with the right teacher and certain types of learners (not all students can tolerate sitting in a classroom without a break for that long). In an ideal world block scheduling would be great for many students. I'm sure it works for some schools, for many students.

But when you don't have enough teachers to offer the classes kids need to take, and you end up with kids not even getting a full schedule... and kids are doing things like going a whole school year between taking consecutive math classes... block scheduling doesn't work. With shorter class times and more class periods fewer teachers can teach more classes and you don't have this problem.

Last edited by haggardhouseelf; 09-12-2011 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,107 posts, read 39,170,046 times
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Seven years and no complaints to the school board?
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:21 PM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,906,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Can you describe what a half year block schedule is?

I'm the OP of the other thread. I didn't mind discussing the block schedules there but I am glad you started a new thread anyway!

As I described in that other thread, my son in 10th grade goes to a school with two semesters. Each semester is divided into two terms. So you have four terms per year.

Each term they are supposed to have 4 classes.

So their schedule looks like this:

Semester 1 Term 1
period 1 - 83 minutes
period 2 - 83 minutes
lunch
period 3 - 83 minutes
period 4 - 83 minutes

...and then again three more times for a total of four terms.

Each term the students have four new and different classes, earning .5 a credit. So they could potentially earn 8 credits each year.

So using my son's schedule as an example... he will have his math credit and 2 elective credits term 1. His language arts credit and 2 elective credits term 2. His science credit and two elective credits term 3. Another math credit and two electives credits term 4. We still have not been able to add a fourth period class at all, for any terms, so even though there are four periods per term, he only has three classes per term so far.

Is there a name for that sort of block schedule?
We call it a 4x4 block as opposed to an A/B block. Our state has special test dates for students who take state tested subjects in the fall semester. I would not like to be on that system. There is just too much time possible between levels of tiered classes. A student can get two "years" of foreign language in one year, but he can also have to go from fall of year 1 until spring of year 2 if his schedule won't work any other way. Other articulated subjects would also suffer: math, science, accounting, etc.

Time in class is not the only variable. Some subjects just need more time to sink in. And I don't think I'm the only one who sees that 90 minutes of PE every other day for 10 months is NOT equivalent to 90 minutes of PE every day for 90 days over 5 months.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:27 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,719,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Seven years and no complaints to the school board?
I have no idea if anyone has complained or not. It's just so frustrating because no one seems to think there is a problem. It's like everyone is taking happy pills and is totally in denial. Aside from the parents and students of course.

This school has a reputation as having an inflated ego. We have the best football team in the area. We were rated as the number two school in our state academically (I don't believe this...). So when you try to talk to people about the problems, it's like, "You're crazy. You don't know what you're talking about. This is an excellent school! YAY Football! Go team!"
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