Aiken County high schools transition to block scheduling
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Aiken County Public School District high schools will transition to block scheduling starting in the 2023-2024 school year, according to school officials.
This means high school classes will switch from 50 minutes to 90 minutes.
School leaders believe the benefits of four courses a semester versus seven outweigh the challenges discussed during school board meetings.
This comes after school leaders approved the modified calendar for the 2023-24 school year that will include more breaks throughout the year.
“This is a structure we’ve been looking at for years,” Mr. Berkeley Postell, Assistant Superintendent for High Schools said. “We believe it will give students more opportunities for success, exploration, and to pursue higher academic challenge or remediation.”
High school students will have the chance to earn 32 credits instead of 28 during their four years. Leaders say this change will allow an additional elective choice for students each year.
“This lets the kids try something like welding. It’s just a semester; they don’t have to commit to it for a whole year,” Mr. Richie Bailey, Welding Instructor at Wagener-Salley, explained to the school board during their Feb. 25 work-study.
School officials say it is expected a new start each semester will lower students’ stress and positively impact their well-being.
“Other educator advantages of the Block are a reduced caseload; 75 to 90 students, compared to 125 to 150 with a traditional schedule. A longer 90-minute planning period, instead of the two 45-minute planning periods of a traditional day, were also positives for Block teacher advocates,” the Aiken County Public School District stated in a press release.
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