Currently, in Garfield School District, Escalante High School and Bryce Valley High School are on an eight period block schedule with four classes per day consisting of ninety minutes for each class. Both of these two schools provide eight classes for their students. In Panguitch High School we have seven periods per day with forty seven minute classes. There is a need to align the three high schools with one common schedule. We started to research a possible schedule we could implement in the District. A team of administrators, councilors and teachers visited Enterprise High School in December to investigate their modified 10 period block schedule. One interesting point, of all the people who visited Enterprise, not one of them came back opposed to this model and a teacher from a seven period day and an eight period day both participated in the school visit. The team reported the advantages of this schedule to me with an encouragement to continue to look at the possibility of incorporating this schedule into the high schools for students in the District.
In the April 19, Board meeting our two councilors discussed the pros and cons of this new schedule and suggested it would be the best schedule we could provide for the students. In this meeting, it was passed to move forward with implementation of a 10 period block schedule for the next school year. It will consist of five class periods taught one day and five additional classes taught the following day, thus allowing students to take 10 classes. The current plan will allow students to take math every day. Language Arts will also be taught every day for the 7th and 8th grade and every other day for 9th -12th grade. Each class will be approximately 70 minutes in length. Mr. Bennett and Mr. Jessen are in the process of developing a common schedule for PHS, EHS and BVHS. Every schedule has advantages and disadvantages, regardless of if it is a seven period day, an eight period block, or a 10 period block. Since incorporating the 10 period block schedule, Enterprise test scores consist of an increase in language arts of 79% in 2009 to 88% in 2010 and 92% in 2011. In mathematics, Enterprise also showed growth from 56% in 2009 to 82% in 2010 and 88% in 2011. Science also showed an 8% increase with the 10 period block implementation.
This block will give students more choices to take electives which will help in their career path. It has a study session every other day to allow students to receive help in areas they may be struggling. The EDNET classes from USU align within two minutes of the beginning time and ending time throughout the day. With a unified District schedule we can now broadcast classes across the District electronically to provide equity in education, regardless of which community students live. These are just a few of the advantages we know exist with this new schedule. One financial disadvantage may be it will require additional staff (possibly six class periods) because we will be teaching more classes. I am willing to work on securing this funding to make this schedule work because I know it is the best schedule we can provide for the students in Garfield School District.
In the next few weeks, high schools will be holding a public meeting with parents and student s to discuss the 10 period block schedule and answer any questions you might have. I have asked the principals to hold these meetings before the end of May so everyone will know the direction we will be moving as a District.
–Superintendent Ben Dalton