Restructuring the 7 Period Day to Utilize
the Extended Period

By Richard L. Beck, Principal of Hononegah High School

We at Hononegah High School Have developed two models of student daily schedules that facilitate the use of the Extended Period into a traditional 7 period day. The key to both models is a 7 period structure and a time that is scheduled for Teacher Collaboration on a weekly basis. Both models address and provide solutions to the problems of moving to an even block schedule [8 Block or 4 Block] while taking advantage of the strategies and techniques enhanced by the use of the extended period.

THE PROCESS:
The decision to move to an extended period schedule was made after a four-year investigation/discussion period. During this time we determined "where we are" and "where we want to be". We identified the strengths, abilities and skills that a graduate of Hononegah High School should possess. We identified the strengths and weaknesses of Hononegah High School. We identified the strengths and weaknesses of our traditional 7 Period Day. We then took the results of these conversations and added them to the knowledge we had gained through our reading and research. This combined knwoledge led us in the development of an "Evaluation Matrix". We created a matrix that contained 18 seperate criteria. We then went through a process that weighted criteria. The Hononegah High School Leadership Team then evaluated several schedules - including the 7 X 1 [diagram of 7 X 1] and the 7 X 2 [diagram of 7 X 2]. The results of this evaluation led us to take our conversation of an alternative schedule to our entire faculty.

THE RESULTS:

The Structure of "The 7 X 1 Extended Period Schedule"

  1. Classes meet 4 times a week.
  2. On Monday, Thursday, and Friday all 7 classes meet for 52 minutes.
  3. On Tuesday periods 1, 2, 3, and 4 meet for 95 minutes.
  4. On Wednesday periods 5, 6, and 7 meet for 95 minutes.
  5. On Wednesday teachers have a Scheduled Collaboration Time to begin the day. Students will begin classes after a late arrival.

The Structure of "The 7 X 2 Extended Period Schedule"

  1. Classes meet 3 times a week.
  2. On Monday all classes meet for 52 minutes.
  3. On Tuesday periods 1, 2, 3, and 4 meet for 95 minutes.
  4. On Wednesday periods 5, 6, and 7 meet for 95 minutes.
  5. On Wednesday teachers have a Scheduled Collaboration Time to begin the day. Students will begin classes after a late arrival.
  6. On Thursday periods 1, 2, 3, and 4 meet 95 minutes.
  7. On Friday periods 5, 6, and 7 meet for 95 minutes.
  8. On Friday students are scheduled into a Homeroom/Activity period for the following possible activities:
    • Personalization and Advisor/Advisee activities.
    • Community of Caring [our Values Program].
    • Pull Out Programs
      • Assemblies
      • Class Meetings
      • Club Meetings
      • Pictures
      • Class Rings/Announcements/Caps & Gowns, etc.
      • College Recruiters
      • Surveys
      • Some Standardized Testing

WHY THE BLOCK SCHEDULE?
"The 7 Block Schedule" was developed after a number of discussion and in response to the need to take advantage of the strategies that can be utilized with the extended period {80+ minutes} and to allow for the following:

  1. Less is More: We did not feel that it would benefit our students to move toward an even block schedule [8 Block or 4 Block] because we would be adding more classes to our students' schedules. We want to have more in-depth study in our classes, not add more to them.

  2. Personalization: This can be developed with an advisor/advisee period time during the homeroom time of "The 7 X 2" or during a lunch schedule in "The 7 X 1".

  3. Student as Worker: This concept can be developed with the extended periods that will allow for a more student-centered/student activity approach to teaching.

  4. Teacher Collaboration: In order for effective change to take place teachers must be given time for collaboration. This collaboration time must be an expectation of the teacher during the work day - all teachers must be involved in the collaboration activities. The scheduling a specific time period for this activity is enhanced by "The 7 Block Schedules."

  5. Skills for the 21st Century: These skills will be better taught with the new strategies that are enhanced with the extended period - active learning, project learning, thematic learning, core curriculum, learning styles, multiple intelligence's, etc.

  6. Stress Reduction: These schedules will allow both teachers and students to prepare for fewer classes on certain days. This will reduce stress, increase the quality of student work and effort, and encourage students to become active learners.

Other Benefits of "The 7 Block Schedule":

  1. Graduation Requirements: Since we are not moving from a 6 or 7 period day to an 8 period day, graduation requirements will not need to be discussed or changed because of a schedule change.

  2. Athletic eligibility: Since we are not moving from a 6 or 7 period day to an 8 period day, eligibility standards will not need to be discussed or changed because of a schedule change.

  3. Curriculum Expansion: Since we are not moving from 6 or 7 period day to an 8 period day, we will not need to expand our curriculum to meet the increased class load of the students. Both schedule change will result in a revision of the curriculum to enhance the success of the extended period.

  4. Use of the Media Center: Since our schedule does not eliminate the use of study halls, we will not have to develop a plan for the use of the media center.

  5. Access to Pupil Personnel Services: Since our schedule does not eliminate the use of study halls, we will not have to develop a plan to make sure that students have access to academic advisors, social workers, etc.

  6. Transfer Students: Since our schedule modifies a traditional schedule, we will be better able to transition transfer students. The only real problem will come from 4 Block students - but this is a problem for all non-4 Block schedules.

CONCLUSION:
The Hononegah High School Faculty voted 77 in favor and 17 not in favor [81.9%] to implement The 7 X 1 Extended Period Schedule" during the 1998-99 school year. During the 1997-98 school year the faculty and administration will be involved in the final implementation plans, staff development and curriculum planning. We all are looking forward to this exciting challenge.


The 7 X 1 Extended Period Schedule
Concept by Richard L Beck, Principal Hononegah High School
Concept enhanceed by Hononegah High School Leadership Team

Monday
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Tuesday
1
2
3
4
 
 
 
Wednesday
Collaboration
5
6
7
 
 
 
Thursday
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Friday
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Period Length: Monday, Thursday, Friday: 52 minutes / Tuesday, Wednesday: 95 minutes


The 7 X 2 Extended Period Schedule
Concept by Richard L Beck, Principal Hononegah High School
Concept enhanceed by Hononegah High School Leadership Team

Monday
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Tuesday
1
2
3
4
 
 
 
Wednesday
Collaboration
5
6
7
 
 
 
Thursday
1
2
3
4
 
 
 
Friday
5
Homeroom
6
7
 
 
 
Period Length: Monday 52 minutes / Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 95 minutes

Richard Beck can be reached at
Hononegah High School, 307 Salem St, Rockton, IL 61024 or
Email Srbecks@aol.com

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