Attention SPS staff, students and families,
After much thought and consideration, we have decided to move forward with an A/B schedule at this time for the 2022-2023 school year.
As you know, beginning this fall, state educational requirements dictate all students must earn 25 credit hours to graduate. Introducing the A/B schedule at this time will serve as the first step in creating a schedule that allows opportunities for students to earn additional credits.
I want you to know that our central office leadership as well as principals at all three of our high schools are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of the A/B schedule this fall.
We appreciate all the work that has been done and continues to be done on behalf of our high school students as we work towards offering flexibility, access, and opportunity across our three high schools. It is a credit to who we are as a community and a benefit to the students we serve.
I truly believe that all of the work spent over the last six years discussing, debating, and researching the types of block scheduling best for our schools will help us move forward together. That research and investment in this area will only benefit us as we move forward with these changes.
Our ability to do this is truly a credit to all of the amazing teachers, principals, assistant principals, curriculum department, staff, families, board members, and the students who remained committed to assisting in making this decision. Our next step is continuing to work as a team to create a schedule that provides greater flexibility, access, and opportunity for all of our students.
To that end, we plan to work collaboratively to form a scheduling committee, composed of teachers, principals, building leaders, families, students, and central office leaders, as well as our program assessor to implement this plan.
I want to thank all of you for your continued involvement in this process and your commitment to working together for the betterment of all our students.
Dr. Tamu Lucero
Superintendent of Schools
What led to considering a change in the format of the high school schedule?
For over six years, SPS has involved stakeholders in research and discussion regarding a schedule change at our high schools. A new schedule must provide blocks of time for students that support active learning experiences. In addition, the schedule must provide personalization and equitable opportunities for success in whichever pathway a student chooses: 4 year college, 2 year college, career, or military.
Additionally, CT passed new graduation requirements for the current junior class of 2023, requiring 25 credits (five more than the previously required 20) to graduate. Recognizing that change can be difficult, the new requirements necessitated increasing credit offerings for all students in order to create more opportunities for student achievement.
How can students sustain attention for the extended period in the block schedule?
As has been done at AITE for almost two decades, longer block periods encourage teachers to use a variety of instructional methods and tools. Indeed, students are not expected to sit idly for ninety minutes, but rather engage in learning using different modalities for deeper understanding. Ideally, the period would be structured in a way to provide direct instruction on the content for the day and ample time for students to use that knowledge in meaningful ways, including collaborative work, learning centers, simulations, and independent learning. Teachers could take advantage of the group work time to meet with students either individually or in small groups to reinforce concepts as well as work on areas that need additional support. Teachers can also use authentic assessment tools to provide real time feedback to students to increase depth of knowledge and achievement.
“Everything depends on what the teacher does in the classroom.” Robert Lynn Canday (as cited in Kenney, 2003, p. 4)