Teachers and students alike will have to adjust to Laney High School's shift to block scheduling this fall. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 5, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 5, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Friday is the last official day of summer for kids in our area's largest county. Come Monday in Richmond County, it's back to classes, back to homework, back to your schedule.
A decision made over the summer is changing that schedule for one high school and if it works, your child's school could follow suit.
Laney High School administrators want to remind their students that this year, there's a new schedule. It's one that's first in the district and one they hope will improve performance.
"The teachers now have an opportunity to teach in their classrooms for 90 minutes, so they'll have 90 minutes of instruction," said Laney High School Principal Tonia Mason.
The school will be the first in Richmond County to change the load of the class schedules after introducing the plan to the school board.
"It's actually going to work out wonderfully, and they only have homework for four classes each night," Mason said.
For example, student A would take algebra and three other courses on Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday.
Tuesday, it's time for biology and three different courses again on Thursday and the other Friday.
"It's a trial run so we'll see how everything goes," said 10th grade math teacher Tomika Briscoe. "For the first couple of weeks, it's going to be a new adjustment for us."
Can a student really sit there for an hour and a half?
"They're actually having to do activities in the classroom to keep the students engaged, so the students are actually allowed to participate in the lesson as well," Mason said.
It's a change the school hopes will increase achievement and one that will be followed by several other schools.
Last year, the school had eight class periods instead of seven so it had longer days, which caused some trouble with transportation. They now hope this schedule puts them right with AR Johnson so they will continue sharing bus routes with that school.
Mason said she fell in love with the idea at Thomson High School. The school is working with Burke County, which also has this type of scheduling.