Survey Could Lead to Changes in Current Schedule

A survey of students, faculty and parents shows that a majority has issues with the current schedule.

BASH Principal Dr. Brett Cooper said concerns about the schedule are currently being evaluated by a committee, and a new schedule will be completed by mid-summer.

Dr. Cooper sent out a survey March 25th to students, staff and parents asking how they felt about the new scheduling format. In a presentation to faculty, he said the results overall indicated:

  • The schedule needs to change
  • Students and staff would benefit from a daily homeroom
  • Extended periods are not popular
  • FLEX is beneficial but does need revisions

The new “hybrid” schedule began in the fall. It consists of four days of 40-minute classes and two days of 80-minute classes in a six day cycle. Classes last year were 40 minutes each in a six-day cycle.

One of the main reasons for the switch was to provide all subjects with extended-time learning periods. In the past, only science classes had double periods.

The switch also provides every student with a “flex” period, allowing students who have a skills deficiency in a certain area – such as English, math, or science – to get extra help. Other students have a free period during Flex time.

Here are highlights of what the 223 parents, 67 staff members and 773 students who responded to the survey said:

  • A majority do not like the new schedule. About 68 percent of the parents, 73 percent of staff, and 65 percent of students disagreed with the statement, “I like the current schedule.”

One student said, “I like that my everyday isn’t so repetitive but I feel in my block day classes, they aren’t used in an effective way.” Faculty commented that the schedule takes away five weeks from biology and “does not promote continuity”.

          Daily homeroom should return. Of respondents, 69 percent of students, 65 percent of parents, and 86 percent of staff said they would like a daily homeroom added into the schedule.

A faculty member said, “Morning homeroom needs to come back. It was an important way to connect with our students. I used this time to meet with my IEP caseload,” while a student said, “A daily homeroom would be nice, that small bit of time to check in, get settled, is useful. Also I feel as if I don’t know my homeroom teacher as well as I have in past years because of the whole one homeroom a cycle thing.”

Another student commented, “Homeroom really helped with club homerooms and finding out necessary information when it comes down to needed work for senior project, guidance meetings, and lastly general announcements relating to our specific class.”

Extended periods are not popular. There were 426 negative comments about the extended periods versus 90 positive ones.

One faculty member said, “The double periods offer me more time to go further in depth with my students,” but another said, “I’m finding that it is very difficult for the kids to sit in one class for 80 minutes. By 7th and 8th period, they are wiped out.”

A student pointed out, “If you miss a double period day due to being sick or other reasons, you miss so much work and things to make up.”

FLEX is beneficial but needs revision. About 55 percent of students said they thought FLEX has been beneficial.

A majority of staff and students said they disagree that the materials used in FLEX are appropriate, and more than 80 percent disagree that data provided to them for FLEX is adequate. Students said most teachers are using materials the students are working on in their regular classes.

Dr. Cooper said the next step is to form a volunteer committee of staff members that will regularly meet to recommend changes to the schedule and FLEX for next year. Recommendations from the volunteer group will be communicated to the staff during the June faculty meeting and changes will be made for the 2014-2015 school year.

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