The schedules of Salida High School students look a little different this year as SHS introduces block scheduling.
Instead of seven 50 minute class periods each day, students have classes in four to five 100 minute blocks each day.
Principal Tami Thompson said the switch was made after concerns from students and parents arose during remote learning last spring.
Thompson said students found it difficult to keep up with 7 classes in the remote setting and ended up dropping some classes.
The decision was made to switch to the block schedules as a way of decreasing the class load should remote learning become necessary this year.
With a block schedule Thompson said, students will spend double the class time in each subject area, and will earn a credit for a full-year’s worth of learning in a single semester.
Students will be able to earn the same number of credits they would in a regular seven period schedule for the year.
The move to a block schedule has been a subject of discussion for a couple of years among teachers Thompson said, so a lot of information had already been gathered when the time came to make plans for the 2020-2021 school year.
During the first and last hour of the day, “skinny” classes of 50 minutes meet. Some of these are college level courses offered through Colorado Mountain College, which has its own schedule for live and online classes.
The new schedule gives students the opportunity to earn 8 credits in a year instead of the usual 7 and opens up opportunities for students to investigate more elective and CMC classes.
Thompson said implementing the block schedule is new and has been done “from scratch” and adjustments are being made, but so far she thinks it is running smoothly.
The initial feedback from teachers and students has been positive overall, and everyone is adjusting, she said.
“I know this is a big change for everyone involved,” Thompson said, “Change is never easy. I hope this is the best for students in the long run.”