High school schedule switching to seven-period day - February 05, 2010

Record Number: 5954
Displayed from: Feb 05, 2010 , until: Mar 05, 2010

Fort Wayne Community Schools' high schools will switch to a seven-period day beginning in the fall of 2010. The decision has come after extensive evaluation of the current 4x4 schedule, its effectiveness in meeting the goals of High School Reinvent and LEAD Schools efforts and how a change in the schedule might better help students be academically successful. Under the seven-period schedule, students will take seven 50-minute classes a day with two quarters equaling one semester. The schedule will provide students time in each class every day of the school year, instead of taking some classes for only a portion of the year, and will minimize the time missed if a student is out for a day. Shorter classes also improve time on task. When we started High School Reinvent a few years ago, we knew we didn't want to change the schedule just for the sake of changing it, Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. We wanted to make sure it was instructionally sound and would provide us with the best structure to deliver a high quality education. FWCS switched to a 4x4 schedule for all high schools in the fall of 2002 to bring consistency to high school scheduling. Prior to 2002, the six high schools used different schedules, with some on 4x4, some on trimesters and some on a traditional six-period day. The lack of consistency between schools created difficulties for students who transferred from one school to another. The 4x4 schedule was selected as it offered students the opportunity to earn more credits during each school year. Under the 4x4 schedule, students take four 90-minute classes each quarter, but with extended time in each class, one quarter under 4x4 is equal to one semester under a traditional schedule. After eight years following the 4x4 schedule, however, it has not generated the desired results. This schedule does not align well with what we are trying to accomplish with our students, Dr. Robinson said. We cannot get consistency and continuity in instruction when students may have long stretches during the school year when they are not receiving math instruction or instruction in another core class. Specific details on how this will affect the school day are still being worked out, including some aspects that are subject to negotiations with the Fort Wayne Education Association. As the high school schedule is established, the middle and elementary school schedules will also be examined.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.