Block schedule committee proposes alternative schedule

The block scheduling committee held its third meeting on Nov. 9 in the OHS library.

One item on the agenda was explaining a proposition to the public of having a trial year of scheduling to work out any major issues before starting the main rollout schedule, using Parkway West and Eureka High Schools’ schedules as guides.

This trial year would begin in August 2017, and the committee proposed starting with a schedule including the traditional-schedule “C-days,” meaning that once a week all eight classes would meet for 50 minutes each. The other four days of the week would follow the block scheduling format, a format that OHS currently holds.The committee is still brainstorming what day of the week the C-day would be implemented if the C-day schedule was to be adopted.

The committee emphasized that ANP would not be taken away in the new format due to positive feedback from students and the community.

One concern with the trial schedule is that students would receive seven classes worth of homework in one night, in which administrators responded with saying that the amount of homework assignments would have to be examined and perhaps even customized.

The C-day will provide much more stability and flexibility to the standard school week, ensuring that classes will meet three times every week, unlike today’s system, in which half the classes only meet twice a week.

A possible rollout hybrid schedule was also introduced to the public. This hybrid schedule would allow students to have both traditional and block-scheduled classes. If this schedule was to be approved, it would start in August 2018. ANP would be held every day for 40 minutes, coupled with another 45-minute class that would also meet every day. Teachers and students may even be able to request whether their classes meet for 50 minutes or for 90 minutes, mimicking typical college scheduling.

The committee admits that there will be scheduling conflicts, but Eureka High School promotes the plan, stating that the plan worked for many of their 1900 students. Mehlville School District administrators suggest that the plan is worth trying, for there are already many seniors who face schedule conflicts under the current scheduling format.

Nothing is final yet. The committee still has another planning session Nov. 30 and proposes their final model to the school board on Dec. 15.