10 Reasons why we know “Block” is best
1. Our standardized test scores are the highest ever.
Since moving to block scheduling, our students’ achievement has risen. In fact, the most recent graduating class set another new all-time high for the ACT college entrance test. A high ACT score = acceptance to more colleges + merit scholarships + demonstrated preparation for college.
2. We require 30 credits to graduate.
Trinity requires more courses to graduate than any other high school in Kentucky. More courses = more rigor + more time spent learning (about 60 minutes more per week than the traditional six-class-per-day schedule).
3. Our curriculum prepares students academically for college, so does our daily schedule.
A student’s class schedule is just like what he will face in college. He learns how to organize his studying and do more long-term projects. His transition to a college schedule is easy. Our block schedule = better preparation for a college schedule.
4. We now enjoy the lowest average class size in school history.
Because of our daily schedule, our teachers see on average only 60 students per day. In a traditional eight-period class schedule with 45-minute classes, a teacher will see 120-140 students per day. Ask any student or any teacher which is preferable. Fewer students each day = more individual attention.
5. 45 minutes is not enough time for a complete lesson.
Trying to learn a lesson in a 45-minute period is like drinking from a fire hose. Our classes are taught at the right pace: (1) teachers present a concept (about 20 minutes), (2) students actively do something to learn the concept (about 25 minutes) and then (3) teachers reinforce the concept (about 15 minutes). Research shows this is the most successful way to learn and is best suited for young men of this age. Our classes have more hands-on learning opportunities such as labs, field work or collaborative research projects (see #6). Our class schedule = deeper learning.
6. “Block” allows for innovation.
Because students and teachers have more time together when they meet, creative lessons have become the norm. For example, our world language and theology students Skype about culture and research with students in South America and Europe. Science students design and execute sophisticated experiments with catapults, egg drops and water-powered rockets and we recently added an outdoor science classroom. Video production and journalism students can frequently be seen “on assignment” researching and photographing stories. This learning can’t be done in 45 minutes. Innovation in instruction = deeper learning.
7. Students have access to more classes, like those that grant college credit.
As early as freshman year, students may take college credit classes. Our students will take more than 650 college credit exams in May. Students have greater access to elective classes in music, art, journalism, information technology and the humanities. Many students take a 5th year of science, math and world languages. More access = better preparation.
8. Homework can be managed better.
Doing homework for 4 classes the next day is more reasonable than preparing for 6 or 7 classes. It isn’t that teachers give less homework; there is just more time to get it finished correctly. More time to learn the concept and do homework = higher student achievement.
9. Advising period helps in many ways.
“Block” allows us to have 3 class periods each week where students meet with a teacher-advisor in small groups. It is time to go seek help from a teacher, make up a test, or visit the library or a lab. We also use this time for prayer services, guest speakers and healthy lifestyle education. A dedicated time for these activities = less interruptions to instructional time.
10. Special courses are provided for the important transition points in adolescence.
Freshmen take a class that successfully launches them into high school, both academically and socially. Seniors take a course that readies them for the move to greater independence once high school concludes. ACT preparation courses maximize their test-taking capabilities. A more holistic approach = better balanced young men.
What students are saying about block:
“I like the extended amount of class time. It allows much more time for material to be taught and for a more relaxed feeling in class.”
Matthew Higgins ’17
“I like that block scheduling allows for more courses, especially AP courses, and the chance for more electives.”
John Moremen ’16
“As a student in the Advanced Program, I can say block scheduling allows me plenty of time to do my homework, talk to teachers when I need help and partake in after-school activities.”
Braden Barnett ’16
What teachers are saying about block:
“Because of the extended time for group activities, I’ve been able to engage students that were quiet and shy in class before. No one gets left out or behind.”
Keith Rapp, Social Studies
“The block schedule allows students to have a deeper, better grasp of the material because they can approach it from different angles, varied perspectives and through different means. In the process, we are able to serve young men of wide-ranging learning styles better.”
Andrew Coverdale H’07, Social Studies
“The block schedule provides students with a collegiate atmosphere, one that allows for introduction of a concept in conjunction with reinforcing activities – all within a single period.”
Tony Lococo H’03, English
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