On Tuesday, Dec. 4 the School Board adopted the Hybrid High School Master Schedule. The new schedule will be implemented at all division high schools beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
Important components for staff include:
- The addition of 15 minutes to the high school students' schedule (7:20 a.m.-2:10 p.m.);
- High school students taking six to eight classes each year with a daily lunch block;
- Increased opportunities for students to enroll in electives and participate in programs;
- The introduction of a 4x4 component for select core courses for credit recovery;
- Principals having the latitude to schedule up to six instructional assignments, with all teachers required to teach a minimum of five classes and up to 150 students (in five or six classes); and
- High school teachers receiving a 90 minute planning block daily.
Why did we need to change the high school schedule?
The current schedule does not offer students the room to meet new state-mandated graduation requirements. Beginning with the freshman class of 2011-2012, all students were required to take Economics and Finance (one additional credit), and the credit requirement for an Advanced Studies diploma increased from 24 to 26. In addition, beginning with the freshman class of 2012-2013, those pursuing a Standard diploma will have to earn a Career and Technical Education (TCE) credential (one to two additional credits). The current schedule limits the opportunities for students to meet these additional graduation requirements, to have a lunch and take electives.
How is the adopted schedule different from the current one?
The adopted hybrid schedule adds 15 minutes to the high school students' day and enables all students to get a lunch block daily, regardless of the number of courses they take. Students will take six to eight classes a year, up to 32 credits over four years, and have increased opportunities to take electives or receive assistance in instructional support programs. The adopted hybrid schedule will also enable students to receive instructional support and more easily recover credits for specific core courses through a 4x4 model, rather than stay after school or attend summer school.
Under the adopted schedule, all high school teachers will teach a minimum of five classes and up to 150 students (in five or six classes). This includes department chairs.
What is the difference between A/B and 4x4 schedules?
In a traditional A/B schedule, which is the one VBCPS currently has in its high schools, students take six to eight classes all yearlong, but see their teachers on alternating days.
In a 4x4 model, classes are offered as semester-long courses. Students attend 4x4 classes every day and then take a new class during the second semester. For example, were a student to fail English 11 their junior year, they could retake the course the first semester of their senior year and English 12 the second semester on a 4x4 schedule.
So how does the adopted hybrid schedule bring A/B and 4x4 courses together?
The adopted hybrid schedule will primarily be an A/B schedule in which students take between six and eight classes a school year while getting a lunch block every day. Under the adopted schedule, only a handful of select core courses will be taught on a 4x4. This will allow students credit recovery during the school year to improve the likelihood of on-time graduation.
In this model, teachers could teach a combination of A/B and 4x4 courses or a straight AB schedule.
What classes will be offered on a 4X4 schedule?
Courses identified for a 4x4 schedule will be those core courses that traditionally are “road blocks” to on-time graduation including, but not limited to, Algebra 1, Earth Science, English 11 and English 12.
Will AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses be taught using a 4x4 schedule?
No. The adopted schedule does not include AP or IB classes using a 4x4 schedule. These classes will continue to be taught using the A/B schedule.
Will I be required to teach a 4x4 course?
Every effort will be made to assign 4x4 offerings to those instructors who desire to teach in this unique environment. It is possible however, that some core instructors will be required to teach a 4x4 course in order to meet the needs of students in their specific school. The principal will make those staffing decisions.
Why might a teacher be assigned six classes?
Virginia’s Standards of Quality allow most teachers to instruct up to 150 students per week without an additional contractual supplement. This equates to 6 classes per week at 25 students per class or 5 classes per week at 30 students per class. Due to budget constraints, staffing guidelines and class sizes may need to be adjusted.
Who would determine whether I teach five classes or six?
Principals will determine the staffing needs at each high school.
Does this adopted schedule eliminate study blocks?
No. There will be a variety of opportunities for study blocks, labs and other remediation blocks under the hybrid schedule.
Does this mean I would teach six classes and a study block?
No. Teachers will have six instructional assignments. This could be a combination of five classes and a lab or study hall or six classes. Principals will make that determination based on enrollment, staffing and other school-specific needs.
Will I lose planning time in the adopted schedule?
No. Teachers will have a 90-minute planning block daily in the adopted schedule.
How will the adopted schedule affect elementary and middle school teachers?
In the adopted schedule, VBCPS will add 15 minutes to the high school students' schedule (7:20 a.m.-2:10 p.m.). While additional time will not be added to the elementary and middle school schedules, start and release times for these schools will be adjusted 10 minutes to account for the impact the new high school schedule will have on VBCPS transportation plans.
- Elementary "A" 8:10 a.m.-2:40 p,m.
- Elementary "B" 8:40 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
- Middle Schools 9:20 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
When will this schedule go into effect?
Guidance counselors at the high schools will begin scheduling students using the hybrid schedule for the 2013-2014 school year.
How can I ask questions about the adopted hybrid high school schedule?