Shelby County High School to pilot new schedule

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Shelby County High School has the green light to pilot a new ABC Block schedule this coming school year.

According to SCHS Principal Gene Rogers, the new schedule will provide additional instruction time for students who need help, as well as enrichment classes for students who excel.

He also noted it would aid the school in improving its overall literacy efforts.

Rogers said Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major approved the new schedule after it was supported by 95 percent of the school&8217;s faculty, parents, students and central office personnel.

Major said he gave the approval because it is not a complete change, but a modification of the schedule SCHS is already on.

He said he looked forward to improved test scores and literacy, and if successful, the new schedule could be considered for the whole school system.

Shelby County High is currently on a four-period AB Block Schedule in which students meet for 90 minutes per class.

Rogers said the primary adjustment would be a move to a five period day with instructional blocks of 75 minutes. Classes would also meet two out of every three days instead of every other day.

Every class would have the opportunity to meet at least three times per week, he said.

Rogers pointed out that contact days with teachers would increase to 120 days with 60 additional days for students to see teachers for help.

Classroom minutes would increase from 7,875 to 9,000 per class.

A fourth block referred to as an &8220;X block,&8221; he said, would be used planned for activities, enrichment opportunities, embedded remediation and tutoring needs. He said the X Block classes would meet once every three days. And it is that X Block that allows 60 extra days for help.

Time not spent on remediation would be spent on literacy efforts. Rogers said SCHS is dedicated to improving the literacy efforts at the school this year.

Other benefits of the new ABC Block Schedule, according to Rogers, include remediation for School of Technology Students and utilization of shared units with other schools such as French, art, choral, band, business education and health.

He said the new schedule would allow opportunities during the school day for clubs, organizations and other interest groups to meet.

He said the first 25 minutes of X Block would be used for those purposes as scheduled.

Rogers said students who are passing their classes would be allowed to choose enrichment opportunities. However, those who are struggling, he said, will be assigned the remediation they need.

Rogers said, &8220;The biggest plus… We&8217;ve protected what we liked in a block schedule.&8221; However, the new schedule is more flexible with the X Block.

Rogers said the main reason for the new schedule is to give students more time with their teachers.

&8220;We think it is going to be a help to our total school program. When you give students what they need, they are going to improve their academic performance.&8221;