Liberty High School schedule should be used districtwide

November 8, 2011

By Brock Mullens

Hall Monitor Brock Mullens Liberty High School

For the past few weeks the Issaquah School District Schedule Committee, made up of teachers, administrators and students, has been reviewing choices for a consistent, districtwide schedule.

The change would allow all three high schools in the district to be on the same schedule. The schedule they choose could greatly affect general education in all of the schools, so the decision they are making is a highly controversial one.

Being from Liberty High School, I have a bias toward the eight-period block schedule (a schedule with two class days with four different classes each day). The opportunities provided by an eight-class schedule greatly exceed those of a six-period schedule due to the added class slots generally used for electives, such as business and marketing (DECA), band and journalism. These classes also benefit from the longer periods of the block schedule. Having a class that lasts an hour and a half allows more work to be done in one session, especially in lab-based science classes.

Other schedules, such as a hybrid-block schedule (involving a combination of daily classes and the block schedule) or a seven-period day, which involves all seven classes daily, are both viable options; however, they have the potential to have a heavy financial toll.

The six-period schedule, used in the majority of schools in the district, is still a viable option. There is speculation that Issaquah and Skyline have higher math test scores due to a greater average class time in the six-period schedules. However, the scores do not necessarily represent the strength of a six-period schedule, as there are many variables that go into a school’s test scores. The six-period schedule also has two fewer periods (in comparison to the eight-period schedule).

Currently, some students from Liberty travel to Issaquah High School for Advanced Placement physics class and Evergreen Philharmonic. If it were not for the block schedule, students could not use a period of their schedule to take these classes.

So, from the student perspective, I believe the A/B block schedule that is currently in use at Liberty High School is the most viable schedule option for the entire Issaquah School District.

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