Jefferson Using Six-Period Schedules

Jefferson Using Six-Period Schedules

By Miranda R.

During the school year of 2010-2011, Jefferson Middle School will be using a traditional, six-period schedule.  For many years, Jefferson used a seven-period schedule, which made it different from most other APS middle schools. This is the first time in recent memory that JMS is having a six-period day.

This year, APS has required some of the middle schools, including Jefferson, try out one of two different schedules. One is the traditional six-period schedule. The other is a block schedule, where students go to different classes each day. APS hopes to have all middle schools on the same schedule by the beginning of next year after testing this year to see which schedule is best.

Before using this new six-period day, JMS mostly used a seven-period schedule. The seven-period day included one period of math, science, and social studies. The students would also have two periods of an English class – one language arts and one literature.

The six-period schedule is different. Students still have one period of math, science, and social studies each day. But, they also only get one period of English. This means students get relatively more math, science, and social studies. It also means they get quite a bit less language arts and literature.

This six-period day has the main advantage of a more balanced education. Students get the same amount of English and math, instead of having twice as much English. “I think [the new schedule] is fantastic,” gifted language arts teacher Mr. Key said. “I think that students will have a more well-rounded education, especially in science and social studies.”

Another important advantage of the new schedule is the fact that students get a lot more time in math class. Gifted math teacher Mr. Kelly has said, “I think it is good that there is time for classes besides language arts and literature. As long as reading is emphasized in science and social studies, [the new schedule] will work.” The new schedule gives students more time in a lot of their classes, namely science, social studies, and math.

The new schedule might cause problems for some other teachers who are used to the older, seven-period schedule. Another language arts/literature teacher has said, “I hate it. I have to cram everything into one class period. We need to have separate classes for [language arts and literature].”  The schedule change is hard on some English teachers that are used to teaching language arts and literature in two separate class periods, but it is possible that JMS will continue this schedule.

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