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Innovation: Thinking Outside the Six-Period Day



With the move to a 24 credit high school graduation requirement, principals and schools are faced with this question: How can we create a system that ensures enough opportunities for students to earn those 24 credits without the risk of falling too far behind and losing hope?

If you look at a traditional 6-period day at the high school 6 classes per semester at 0.5 credits per class that equals 6 credits per year, or 24 credits after four years. What happens if a student fails one class? They are now no longer on track for graduating on time with their class.

A misperception in the state is that the graduation requirement is 22 credits, but the State Board has made it abundantly clear that 24 is the target for all students to be college and career ready. This dilemma has forced conversations in schools to new heights, new thinking, and into the realm of innovation. What sort of schedule would create flexibility for students, meet state graduation requirements, provide creative and relevant offerings for students, prepare students to be college and career ready, and keep hope alive for all students?

The standard 6-period day may no longer be the answer.

So, who is taking innovation to new heights in the design and use of time? Is the answer shifting to a modified block schedule? Is it a 7-period day? Is it a 7-period day with modified and rotating blocks? Is it an alternating daily schedule? Or, has the time come where we offer an 8-period day? Where does PRTI fit in to the day? These are just a few questions to get you thinking.

Principal Patti Fouts (Quillayute Valley SD) and Dean of Students Erika Rudnicki (Federal Way PS) wrote an article on creative scheduling in the spring 2014 issue of AWSP's Washington Principal magazine. We encourage you to read their article for inspiration.

We’d also love to hear from you. Principals across the state are seeking help and innovative ideas on this topic. Share your innovative ideas below or email Scott Seaman.