Some LYS High School Principals asked two versions of the same question:

What politician came up with the idea of going to school based on the number of minutes in the school day as opposed to using days to figure out a school year?  That sure opens up a lot of issues in which there is NO direction given.  What say you?



What is your take on the changing of the school calendars from days to minutes?

SC Response I hadn’t really thought much about this.  But I’ll do so now.

I do know that there are a number of CTE programs that require a specific number of clock hours to earn the certificate or license. 

But for core classes, the standards are much looser.

Let’s assume a 175-day school year and a 45-minute class period (not optimal, but common in an 8 period day).  That would produce a total of 7,875 potential instructional minutes.  The idea behind the accelerated block and trimester is that you can reduce the number of classes on a given day, expand the minutes spent in the remaining classes and earn credits faster (essentially be exposed to the requisite minutes faster).

Then there is the whole self-paced / credit-by-exam model where once students prove master of the subject, they get the credit.

The easiest model to manage (at scale) is the days served model, with essentially all students earning their credits on the same day.  The most difficult model to manage (at scale) is the self-paced model, with credits being earn with no predictable pattern.  Which is why the schools that do this are either small schools, alternative schools, or small alternative schools.

It would seem to me that the credit by minute served model fall somewhere between the two.  In the grand scheme of things, as long as the state doesn’t greatly diminish or increase the minutes required from around 7,800, this is probably a non-issue.  Just another political “reform” that gives the illusion of action without actually accomplishing anything of significance other than extra paperwork.

On the other hand, High School Principals, if I’m missing something please enlighten me.

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