The Seven-Period High School Day

May 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM Leave a comment

A creative solution to the short school day and the conflicting biorhythms and agendas among school constituencies could be the seven-period high school day. Some could come early, some could come late, and a few motivated participants could do both.

A consensus is forming about the school day being too short. However, resources are short as well. In addition, there are many conflicting interests to address in school timing. Teenagers stay up late and need to sleep later in the morning. Teachers accustomed to early start times may not wish to move their lives back an hour. Sports, after-school jobs, and family commutes may not allow for an altered school day. As a result, a seven-period, flexible school day may be the best way to solve at least part of the problem.

Some thoughts on the details….

  • A seven-period school day would begin at the usual time but end an hour later.
  • Faculty and staff could express preferences for starting their days with first or second period.
  • Students would be allowed to attend all seven periods, but they would only need to attend six or even five if they had accumulated enough credits.
  • Students could come later, for example, if they wished to sleep later or needed to help siblings get to school before they started their own days.
  • Some special scholastic or extracurricular activities could be planned for first or seventh period, and faculty staying later could support community volunteers offering extended day services.
  • One period for peer study support, virtual courses, or unstructured time could be proctored by ancillary staff for students attending seven periods a day.
  • Many opportunities for electives, dual enrollment, or extracurricular activities would be available for students.
  • Teachers wishing to explore a new course or engage in common planning time would have more flexibility in their schedules.

Of course, there would be the added duty for administrators in the building. However, some of that time could be found by talking less about instructional leadership off site and spending more time engaging in it within the building…might even help cut some of that costly district overhead.


Entry filed under: Design Concepts. Tags: , , .

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