First row (sitting L – R): Nicholas Pesce, Michael Chou, Bryce Thompson, John Fernandez, Hunter Ruckriegel, Edward “Tristan” Harbold
Second row (standing L – R): Jackson McClellan, Gavin Weakley, Aden Yeager, Alexander Deye, Dr. Dan Zoeller, John McCalpin, Logan Thomas, Nick Huls
Our recent graduates have set school records for cumulative ACT score, the dollar value of college merit scholarship offers and the number of AP exams taken. They are regularly accepted at nearly 150 colleges and universities across the country. Thirteen seniors in our Class of 2020 have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
This is happening at a school that enrolls students with the widest possible academic strengths and challenges; a school that strives to meet students where they are academically, wherever that may be.
How does the block schedule produce such GreaT results?
The block schedule is a 21st century high school student-specific way of learning.
Longer time in class leads to more hands-on, project-based lessons
According to Trinity’s principal Dr. Zoeller, “Block is key to academic success because of how our teachers have embraced the longer period. More lessons are taught to completion, rather than being interrupted and restarted a day later. The learning is deeper and less rushed. Science students can get in the lab more, social studies students are researching more by examining primary documents, math students have more time with instructors to work through difficult new formulas and writing instruction has improved through more peer and teacher revisions. Our library-media center is booming as teachers plan more active lessons involving library databases, breakout games, and virtual reality field trips. Essentially the longer time in class leads to more hands-on, project-based lessons.”
Block scheduling allows our students to take MORE Advanced Placement (AP) classes
“Block schedule allow our students to complete eight academic courses every semester. Since we moved to the new schedule, our academic rigor has increased by requiring more credits, increasing graduation requirements, and exceeding Commonwealth of Kentucky’s educational requirements. It also allows students to take more Advanced Placement course over their four years. In fact, the number of AP exams administered has tripled since we went to block,” says Dr. Zoeller. Trinity’s Advanced Program Counselor Dr. Aaron Striegel agrees. “Trinity’s block schedule allows students to concentrate on areas that interest them. It’s not uncommon for students to take two science or math classes or two social studies classes in the same semester; as a result, students are given the flexibility to pursue a subject in greater depth.”
The use of technology allows students to adjust to their own pace of learning
Dr. Striegel attributes the continued success of block scheduling to how Trinity has adapted to the ever-changing world of technology. “The use of technology allows students to adjust to their own pace of learning particularly with reading articles and completing assignments on Rockspace, Trinity’s online learning platform. Two educational tools also stand out: Live video collaborations with students around the world using SKYPE and virtual reality (VR). A great example of video collaboration is a Spanish class improving their pronunciations of words by speaking with a high school class in Spain. By using VR, classes can go virtually anywhere: looking at ruins in Rome or trekking through a South American rainforest, exploring up close and personal with the use of 3-D technology.” Dr. Zoeller adds, “Using technology is a bit like surfing. You watch for the good waves to come in and ride them to shore. There are many interesting technology waves that come and go then fizzle out. Our classrooms and teachers continue to differentiate what works and what is just the latest fad. Our classroom management system, Rockspace, enables lessons to become interactive through any device, in and out of the classroom. It provides great analytics for teachers to know how often students are utilizing resources. The new virtual reality technologies are taking students across the globe and into the human body without ever leaving their desk, and our investment in new audiovisual equipment and our robust wireless network means there is rarely a hiccup in technology-rich lessons.”
The benefits of block schedule are supported even further by the academic success of Trinity’s most recent graduating class, the Class of 2019.
- The Class of 2019 set an all-time school record for college scholarship offers ($44 million)
- The Class of 2019 took the second most AP exams in school history (641)
- When combined with the last three graduating classes, Trinity students earned more national merit recognition than any other private school in the state of Kentucky.
Block Schedule = Results!