The Transylvania Times -

By John Lanier

Discussion Held On College-Type Schedules – Brevard NC


February 16, 2017

During a recent Board of Education workshop, Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaris presented it with some thoughts on running high school classes on a college schedule.

“This is a springboard for discussion,” said McDaris. “Nothing is going to be implemented at a drop of a hat.”

Instead of having four classes per day for one semester, high schools could offer eight classes and an enrichment period that would run for the entire year.

For example, there would be five classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday that would meet for 65 minutes on those days. There would be three classes on Tuesday and Thursday that would run for 90 minutes with a 60-minute enrichment period at the end of the day.

McDaris said staff members have presented pros and cons about running a college-type schedule, but that many of the comments have been positive.

He said it would put all standardized testing at the end of the year and that students would not be missing the same class repeatedly if they had to leave early for sporting events.

He said some students also like the fact that if they received a homework assignment on Monday it would not be due until Wednesday.

McDaris said the schedule, however, might cause some issues with classes in which students are conducting lab experiments or doing hands-on work.

Board member Alice Wellborn said problems with the current block schedule include students taking math and foreign language classes may have to wait an entire year before taking the next class in the sequence.

Currently, a high school student who finishes a math class in January of this year may not begin another math class until January of next year. Board member Ron Kiviniemi asked if there were any data on student achievement with such a schedule.

McDaris said there was none that he knew of, but that some schools, such as Hendersonville High, have classes that run throughout the year and that the school performs well on state measures.

He said he did not know if Hendersonville’s high performance was due to having yearlong classes or other factors.

“I think math is seriously affected by the block schedule,” said Wellborn.

McDaris said teachers would still have a planning period each day with a college-type schedule.

He reiterated that the idea of running a college-type schedule was merely for discussion and no such schedule would be implemented next fall.


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