CLINTON, Miss.–If you have a spirited high schooler, like Sue Heck on the TV show “The Middle”, then you’ll be interested to know some Mississippi school districts are making it easier for a high school student to do the reading, writing and a arithmetic, and fit in all the extracurricular activities like baseball, football and show choir.
It’s called block scheduling, and a lot of districts already do that, but some are switching to a new form of it that could have some new advantages.
“Block scheduling is used in a lot of places across the state,” said Clinton School District Asst. Superintendent Tim Martin. “It allows students an opportunity for more credits during the school year than a traditional, seven period day.”
The traditional block schedule can be like college. You can have an AB schedule, where two days per week, students have A classes, and for two others, B classes.
Then there’s the 4 by 4.
“You take four courses in a semester, you go 90 minutes every day in four classes, and then you take four classes in the second semester,” said Martin.
But, what the Clinton schools have adopted is different. It’s a mix.
“It will be a 50-minute block for first and second period, then two 90-minute block periods, then back to the regular 50-minute fifth and sixth periods,” said Martin. “This will allow our students to take an eighth course during the block scheduling periods. They can take one block course in the first semester and a second block course the second semester and get credit for both.”
Students who need more time in required courses, like English, U.S. History, biology and algebra, can devote the entire year to those areas during the block periods.
In other words, it can help if you’re having trouble and need more time understanding.
It can also let students who really want to work hard and do everything, have the flexibility to do just that. Martin said it would take a lot of dedication and commitment from the student and the parents, but if they were ready for it, “Have at it,” he said.