Highland School Board February Meeting
Highland School students will experience different class scheduling beginning next year, following approval by the Highland School Board at their February monthly meeting. For all students, the school day will begin at 8:20 am, and end at 3:00 pm, reducing the school day by 30 minutes. The main changes occur for middle and high schools students, who will have a modified block schedule and 4×4 block schedule, respectively.
Principal Tim Good explained that this reduces the day from eight periods to four 88 minute blocks – lunch periods will remain 25 minutes long. In the 4×4 block schedule, high school students will still have eight credit courses per year – however, they will be split into two semesters, with four complete courses taken during the first semester, and the remaining four in the second. Mr. Good noted that there was a winter testing period available for SOL’s of courses taken in the first semester. Middle school students using the modified block schedule will have certain courses which last the full length of the year, and others which use the same split schedule as the high school. Mr. Good highlighted the advantages of block scheduling, which included less time wasted in transit between classes, more effective use of time while in class, and increased focus for students, given they only have four classes per semester.
In addition to approving the new schedules, the Board approved two overnight trips, and personnel and the superintendent’s contract, as discussed and amended in closed session.
During his report, Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott gave an update on the “yoking bill”. He and Highland Supervisor David Blanchard had travelled to Richmond on January 25th to present to legislators. He noted the bill has been through five different sub-committees in the Senate, and three in the House of Representatives, and has passed all so far unopposed. He did note the bill has been amended in terms of expiration date –the original bill called for elimination of the 15 year time limit, but lawmakers were not comfortable with that, and set a time frame of 20 years for renewal considerations. At this point, Dr. Schott anticipated the bill would successfully pass through the full General Assembly.