Thank you for taking some time to visit this blog and share your student thoughts
about the Thompson School District high school schedule and in the future, the revised graduation guidelines that will affect students in who are presently in middle school.
Who is working on the changes to the High School schedule?
My name is Diane Lauer, and I am the executive director of instruction. I was a teacher and then principal at Conrad Ball Middle School for a number of years before I started working at the district office to support teachers and the subjects they teach.
Working with me is Margaret Crespo, the executive director of secondary education. She is a former high school teacher, counselor and principal. She works to support our secondary schools be the very best they can be.
Together, we have been working with a task force of about 30 teachers, parents and principals to better understand the new state graduation guidelines that were approved in May of 2013.
We are calling the group that is working on all of this the Thompson to Life
P.S. – We need students on the task force, email me if you want to be on the task force that meets after school once a month.
Why change the high school schedule?
Our district understands that there are a lot of rumors about the possible high school schedule change. It’s been hard to get information to everyone about what is going on. So, we are trying out an idea of putting information in this blog to see if this helps…
That main reason we are discussing a change to the current high school schedule is because Colorado developed some new state graduation requirements
and we need to look at ways to prepare for these new state regulations that will affect the students who are now in middle school.
The high school schedule is like the foundation of a house, we need to make certain that this structure will be able to hold up the revisions to the graduation requirements when we get ready to make them.
What is working and what isn’t working with the current schedule?
It’s important to consider the benefits and issues we have with the current schedule before we make any change. We’ve heard over the years a number of issues with the current schedule, like:
- we don’t have enough sections of the classes students want to take
- we have too many conflicts with classes and students have to choose between classes that are only offered once
- some students have to take study hall when they don’t want to because there isn’t any other class available, or
- students have to take other classes they don’t care about very much, or have an open block when they don’t really want one.
We are also aware that many parents are concerned about student who have too much unsupervised time during the day because of 90-long open blocks, especially when these blocks are next to lunch!
Finally, we have to figure out a way so that teachers don’t switch in the middle of the year. Too many of our students start the year with one teacher in the fall and finish the year with a different teacher in the spring. Our new Colorado teacher evaluations make this really difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers, so we need to figure out a way we can stop this. Changing the schedule can be a way we get some of these issues resolved.
Your thoughts are needed!
You have important concerns about moving away from a 4 block schedule. We are very interested in your perspective and hope that you can provide us with more information.
Follow this link to a Survey and share your thoughts with us. You can also leave comments on this blog!
Here are the questions we will ask in the survey…
- What are some things you like about having 90 minute long classes every other day?
- What are some of the challenges you notice about having 90 minute long classes every other day?
- When a 90 minute class is really engaging and you feel like the time you spend is valuable to your learning, how would you describe what class looks and feels like?
- When a 90 minute class is not engaging and you feel like the time could be organized better to support your learning, how would you describe what the class looks and feels like?
- We’ve heard that homework is a BIG concern for changing the schedule. About much time do you spend on homework nightly/per class?
- What classes give the most homework?
- What do you think about a schedule that had 8 period (about 50 minutes long) 3 days a week, and 4 blocks (about 95 minutes) two days a week?
- What do you think about a schedule that compacted certain classes during the day (in an 8 period schedule) that really need more time?
- Are there classes that must be 90 minutes? Please provide a list.
- Are there classes that could be offered smaller blocks of time? Give examples.
- What are your biggest concerns related to changing the schedule?