Garrett Elementary first school in the county to use block scheduling

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Fifth graders at Garrett Elementary were ready to move on after an hour of math. Their chairs were pushed in, bags zipped up and they were out the door onto their next class.

"We started off with Ms. Gatesmore, then we go to Ms. Praithe for math," said Haley Wilson, a fourth grader at Garrett.

Then it's on to social studies, science and a few more stops.

It's a schedule Wilson is finally used to.

"I see a whole bunch of teachers and I like them all," Wilson added.

Paula Kaminski, the principal at Garrett Elementary said, "You focus in on one subject, you focus in on one standard for each grade level then you teach that subject."

Garrett may be an elementary school, but inside, when the bell rings -- just like in middle and high school -- students take to the halls and walk to their next class. Each grade has a total of five classes to visit each day ranging from science and social studies to math and language arts.

"Our kids are able to not be so stuck in one place and these kids are very active; kids are active anyway," Kaminski said.

As excited and eager hands go up to answer questions, students say classes are much more interesting.

"It was kind of boring 'cause we only saw one teacher a day," Haley said.

With the new schedule, even younger students are closing their books and moving through the hallway like the older students.

"Well you get to see different teachers and the different teachers do different things to teach you," said Christine Hogland, a second grader.

"When you can teach to your strengths and teach the things you like best, you are going to come with more enthusiasm and engage students more," said Fonda Patterson, a fifth grade teacher at Garrett.

Now teachers are awaiting the results from the CRCT, and they're hoping the higher focus and the change of pace will affect the results positively.

"If the schedule works, we will be the darling of Richmond County," Kaminski said.

Continuing the schedule into next year will be a schoolwide decision which Kaminski said will be made before the summer.


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