Recently I was at a high school working with a principal and the discussion came to the topic of the schedule for next year. Now I have two opinions on master schedules. The first opinion is that the schedule may be the problem, but it is never the solution. Poor instruction and leadership remains poor no matter how it is scheduled.
The second opinion is that the worst schedule is the 8 period day, which this campus is currently using. If anyone wants a complete essay on the weaknesses of the 8 period day, send me a request and I will oblige. For now, I will use the illustration that I shared with this principal and his assistants.
This campus had an 8 period day with a 5 minute passing period. If the campus would move to a modified block (still not the optimal schedule) and reduce the passing period to 4 minutes, they could add 40 minutes of instruction to the current school day. 40 minutes a day times 5 days a week is 200 minutes. 200 minutes times 36 weeks is 7,200 minutes. 7,200 minutes is 120 hours. 120 hours is equivalent to 20 days of instruction.
So the question becomes, “if you had 20 extra days of instruction, what could your students and your school accomplish?” The answer to that question is your school’s instructional cost of the 8 period day.
Think. Work. Achieve.