High Schools Will Stay with Semesters
High school students and teachers will continue to use a 6-period schedule, rather than switching to a 5-period trimester system.
With our current limitations--while schools are closed--and the need to support a strong transition when school resumes, our school teams and district leaders are choosing to stay focused on supporting students and families while strengthening instruction within the 6-period day.
By foregoing the technical work of transitioning to a different schedule and system, we will be able to fully focus on improving student engagement and providing a guaranteed and viable curriculum across our district.
Business as Usual? Not.
This decision does not mean simply continuing high school as we know it. We will work to innovate and strengthen our master scheduling and academic programming. We will improve how we use student data and student interest to guide our master schedules.
The reality remains that our current students will have to meet new, more demanding state graduation requirements.
- Our 9th-, 10th- and 11th-grade students will need to earn 24 credits, most of them in specific subjects prescribed by the state.
- Students who are not on track for graduation will need detailed and specific plans for earning missing credits.
- We will need to focus on ensuring students are engaged and successful in school and have opportunities for credit retrieval.
We must prepare our students for the future they choose. Our immediate task is to develop robust supports to ensure that all students get what they need to graduate now, and when schools open again. This will include:
- Professional learning communities leading to a course-level guaranteed and viable curriculum
- Standards-based instruction with common standards-based grading and reporting practices
- The development of a High School and Beyond Plan ensuring each student has a plan and an adult support them in attaining their goals
- Student engagement through culturally responsive and inclusive practices
The thoughtful research and initial planning for a 5-period trimester system was valuable and will help us improve student outcomes within the existing schedule. This work will guide our ongoing efforts to ensure that all students are able to meet the more rigorous graduation requirements.