Close

Block Scheduling

Why is Sun Prairie moving to Block Scheduling in the 2018-19 School Year?

Hand stacking blocks

Starting in 2014 our Superintendent, Tim Culver and Board President, Tom Weber held Strategic Planning sessions with approximately 60 community residents, parents, students, teachers, administrators, district staff, business leaders, and volunteers. The Strategic Planning Team met for three full Saturdays and a Wednesday evening. The process was facilitated by Brian Kammers and Joanne Sternke. Following these full deliberations and many rich conversations, the Strategic Planning Team proposed a new district Vision, Mission, Values and Beliefs Statements. The proposed Strategic Plan was adopted August 11, 2014. 

We then began the Curriculum Renewal and Design process in the fall of 2015 in the area of math, it became apparent that we were in need of additional minutes of instruction in order for us to achieve our goal. It was evident that there were other curricular areas where innovative scheduling or a shift in how our schedule is structured would afford additional opportunities for all students. These additional opportunities would allow students not only to access more rigorous coursework, but would provide more course options for students. Building leaders and a committee investigated and prepared a block scheduling model at each school site for implementation in the 2018-19 school year.

 

Some benefits of Block Scheduling

  • More choices for students - students can find more areas of interests
  • Increase engagement opportunities - allows teachers to engage with kids when in a class for a longer period of time
  • Acceleration for students - allows students to get to higher level courses if they want to
  • Interventions and enrichment opportunities - students have built in time to get assistance
  • Fewer classes per day to focus on

Schedules will look differently at each school site. View the information below for more information by grade.

Block Information By Grade

Prairie View & Patrick Marsh (Grades 6-7)

Patrick Marsh and Prairie View middle schools will be transitioning to a restructured instructional schedule for the 2018-29 school year, to increase instructional minutes for math, reduce transition, and build stronger connections within the school.

What does that mean for my student and family for registration?
Registration materials are already out and nothing changes on your end. We simply need to know student preferences for electives and also their involvement in our music program.

What will a student schedule look like?
There are many different variations in student schedules, while the schedules shown below are a sample of what the schedule "could" look like for a 6th and 7th grade student.

 

Block Scheduling

 What is different about the schedule from last year to this year?

2017-2018    2018-2019

Teaching teams consist of mostly 4-teacher teams:            
       

  • Teacher 1: Math and Social Studies       
  • Teacher 2: Reading/LINK and Social Studies
  • Teacher 3: Writing and Social Studies
  • Teacher 4: Science and Social Studies                               

 

Teaching Teams consist of 2 or 3-teacher teams:
  -  2-person team

  • Teacher 1: Math and Science
  • Teacher 2: Literacy and Social Studies

  -  3-person team

  • Teacher 1: Math
  • Teacher 2: Literacy
  • Teacher 3: Science and Social Studies
Math is 47 minutes Math is 83 minutes
Reading and writing are separate classes Reading and writing are combined into one class, and renamed literacy
Some elective classes were every day for one quarter in  6th grade                                        Every elective class is every other day for one semester  (equivalent to one quarter) in 6th grade

Eight (8) transitions or passing times                                 

Six (6) transitions or passing times
Students see eight (8) teachers in one day Students see up to si (6) teachers in one day

How can I learn more about the schedule?
Patrick Marsh and Prairie View will be hosing informational sessions during Parent/Teacher Conferences on February 22 and 23. More information to follow from specific buildings.


Screencast by Corey Shefchik and Nancy Hery, principals of the Patrick Marsh and Prairie View Middle Schools.

Cardinal Heights (Grades 8-9)

Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School is moving to a A/B block schedule for the 2018-19 School YearCardinal Heights Upper Middle School is moving to a A/B block schedule for the 2018-19 School Year

What changed from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019?

 

  • We moved from a daily schedule, with 8 periods of 46 minutes each to an A/B block schedule, with 4 classes each day of 82 minutes each.
  • We also have a 47 minute daily Resource (intervention) period (combined with student lunch for a 5th block in a student’s day).
  • 8th grade Math is taught 82 minutes every day.
  • 8th grade computers is no longer a required class, but can be accessed as an elective.
  • 8th grade ELA and Social Studies will be co-planned as Humanities, using social studies content and ELA skill development. Students have ELA one day and then Social Studies the next day.
  • House-based Study Hall time will not be a requirement, as many of the benefits of Study Hall can be offered in Resource and in longer classes.

Increased opportunities and reduced transitions

  • The expectation is that nearly doubling math minutes for 8th graders, as well as continuing with our new curriculum, will increase math achievement.
  • We are expecting the creation of Humanities to effectively broaden the ELA skill development across two academic areas, providing more experiences around literacy.
  • 8th grade students continue to have access to two electives, even with the doubling of math minutes.
  • Moving from 8 periods to 4 periods reduces our daily transitions.
  • Compacting classes, made possible by the schedule, can allow students to accelerate through curriculum at the 9th grade level.

Resource time is an every day period and can include:

 

  • Advisory lessons (PBIS, ACP, school connections)
  • Study Hall model (tracking missing work, get students caught up)
  • Independent reading (10-15 minutes)
  • Individual conferencing with students on a regular (monthly) basis
  • Music Lessons (partial)
  • Specific interventions for students with math or ELA needs


Would you like more information about Block Scheduling?
Watch this video to learn more.

During parent/teacher conferences, school staff are available to discuss the changes and opportunities the new schedule format will bring to Cardinal Heights next year. 

Here is what a schedule may look like:

Block Scheduling

What changed from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019?

 

Sun Prairie High School (Grades 10-12)

What is changing for 2018-19

  • Class periods will now be 87 minutes.  
  • Almost all classes will meet on an A/B rotation with students having 4 classes (blocks) per day, 8 classes total.
  • A 30 minute Homeroom will occur at the beginning of each week. Staff and students will stay together as a cohort for all three years.
  • A 30 minute Advisory will occur 4 days a week- students will sign up for these every few weeks. An advisory can be filled with a club or organizational meeting or intervention and enrichment where students can get help with homework, testing help, socratic seminars, book studies, peer tutoring, and more. Teachers can require that a student attend their advisory if they feel a student could benefit by extra time with that subject.
  • There will be 7 minute passing periods


This is a great opportunity to our students; they will be able to earn 32 credits in 4 years versus the current 28 by using the Block Scheduling.

What is staying the same?

  • We will still have 3 lunch periods.
  • School start and end times will remain the same

Families were offered an opportunity to attend an information night about block scheduling. If you were unable to attend, please view the video.


What does this look like?