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Lesson Plans

Re: Block scheduling

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
J. Stephen Lahr (
Mon, 11 Mar 1996 11:20:48 -0500 (EST)

Dear Mr. Scott,

I do not know Ohio rules and regulations, but be
aware of some problems that may rear their ugly when class
class period are reduced in the name of block scheduling. Also be aware
that some systems have "been there, done that" and are now back to more
class periods per day.

In Georgia the public high schools may elect to have a 7 period day, but
opt for six periods. The fine arts are not a graduation requirement
(although some may argue that there is such a requirment) for
college prep students who have approximately 22 out of a possible 24
credits mandated for graduation (4 years x 6 periods per = 24 full
credits available). To further complicate the problem, students on the
vocational track (which is not called a track) do not have enough time to
take electives in the fine arts because they must take more English and
Math. Nor is a fine arts credit required for college
entrance. What happens in effect is that the number of electives options are
necessarily reduced and since the visual arts are, in Georgia,
an elective, fewer students can take art classes. Fewer students eventually
leads to a reduction in staff and/or other teaching duties or assignments
get added to your responsibility, if you are luck and have tenure. I
think your concerns are well founded unless Ohio happens to mandate a fine
arts or visual arts credit for graduation. In many cases where the block class concept has been put into practice
elective classes such as art, music, and drama have suffered. Often, arts
teachers are seduced by the idea of having more time to work with
students, but I submit that less time, more students, and more classes
equals a job.

I have worked in three states over the past 16 years, and each state has
suffered as a result of "reform" practices like the block schedule
concept. The administrative purpose for block scheduling is the
reduction of staff. In the eyes of an administrator whom do you think
becomes the expandable staff member?

Good luck with your committee.

J. Stephen Lahr, Professor
Valdosta State University

On Fri, 8 Mar 1996, John Scott wrote:

> My high school is considering alternatives to the typical 7/8 class,
> 46 minute period day. The faculty has been divided into study groups that
> are meeting on a regular basis to discuss information from other schools
> about scheduling. My department's concern (which is very much my own, since
> I'm the lowest in seniority) is that the forms of block classes considered
> will mean that fewer students will sign up for our classes, and there will
> be reductions in the number of staff. We would be interested in e-mailing,
> and possibly even talking to anyone out there who is in a block schedule.
> Our main concern is how it will effect our program. Personally, I'm
> in favor of the longer class-time, because I could do so much more with the
> students, but I'm only in favor of it if it can be done so that it doesn't
> destroy the curriculum we've already developed and implemented.
> Thanks for your time and help!
> John Scott
> Rutherford B. Hayes High School
> Delaware, Ohio