July 22, 2009 10:27:00 AM
The modified block system at Starkville High School is being modified once again in an attempt to better serve students and teachers.
New SHS Principal Keith Fennell requested the change for the upcoming school year. It was approved unanimously on Pickett Wilson''s motion and Keith Coble''s second at Tuesday''s meeting.
The change will keep the school on a modified block, but students will no longer have each class every day. It is an AB block system where students take one set of classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of one week and Tuesday and Thursday of the next week. The classes they take on Tuesday and Thursday of the first week will move to Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the following week.
Schedules will rotate each week so that they spend five of every 10 days of class time in each class.
"The educational advantage of going to the program is (students are) prepared for the entire year in the subject matter being tested," Fennell said.
April 26 will be the single day of state testing.
When the block schedule was changed last year to a modified block, the intention then was to allow students to study subjects all year that were covered in subject area tests. This changed is an attempt to improve on that system, Fennell said.
"The original objective for developing the past school year''s schedule was to work with students all year to prepare them for the subject area tests. Blocks were split and 49-minute periods implemented," he said in his letter to the board. "Students followed a schedule that had each subject area class meeting each day for the required 49-minute period while other subjects remained on the previous year''s block schedule."
Fennell said the shorter class periods last year did not allow the rigor needed to move students from lower performing to higher performing. He said teachers at the high school are in favor of the change.
This was the first meeting in recent history that the high school''s block schedule was discussed when no teachers or parents were present.
At the meeting, the board also approved some minor changes in Armstrong Middle School''s daily schedule.