Block Schedule Study Update - February 2017

Block Schedule Study Update - February 2017
Block Schedule Study UpdateMtg 7 Printable Copy (PDF)
Mtg 8 Printable Copy (PDF)
Mtg 9 Printable Copy (PDF)


Study of Block Scheduling at Galesburg High School        2016-17

Galesburg School District 205

Galesburg, IL

Purpose: Determine the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Block Scheduling at GHS


February 9, 2017     3:30 p.m.       Meeting No. 7         Room 15       GHS


Summary - Brief


Review of the Agenda         

            Attendees: Ben, Lori, Laurie, Matt and Jeff in the room with Stu on the phone.  Gloria had another commitment she could not change.

            We focused on a review of the survey of the GHS professional staff and asked Stu to lead us in a discussion of some scheduling options. 


Discussion about the HS Survey Results 

We were all very pleased with the responses to the surveys in terms of the numbers (approximately 95% of the staff!) probably due to the process of administering the survey and the anonymity of the responses.  Most of the respondents indicated that they liked the Block Schedule and thought that it was effective.  However, approximately 84% of the respondents took time to write thoughtful comments, ideas and insights based upon their experiences. (It is estimated that at least three-fourths of the staff of the high school have only worked in this Block Schedule format.) Many of the comments offered by 61 of the 72 respondents included ideas about tweaking the schedule to include some kind of Hybrid approach or the use of Skinnies*.  We had a very detailed review about the current schedule.


Discussion of Sample Schedules of a Hybrid Nature

We then moved to a discussion about the schedule samples that Stu shared with us last time and focused our discussion on Sample #3, which is defined as a Hybrid Schedule*.  This schedule starts with a 30-minute common planning time, followed by a 55-minute Period #1; then an 85-minute Period #2 and an 85-minute Period #3; followed by a 55-minute Period #4 and a 55-minute Period #5; followed by Advocacy for 20 minutes and After School Time of 15 minutes, which is a time when teachers remain following student dismissal. 

During this discussion we thought about differing ways to arrange the blocks or modules, which courses might be 85 minutes and which 55 minutes in length.  :

  • The idea of beginning and ending the day with shorter blocks or modules, while using the larger blocks in the middle of the day during prime learning time.
  • The acknowledgement that it would make sense to designate which courses would be 85 minutes and which would be 55 minutes in length, each time they met; why and who would not like this approach to modifying the schedule and how would this be impacted by or guided by what is stated in the contract with GEA regarding the high school schedule?


Meeting Evaluation

  1. Those of us remaining at the end of the meeting agreed that it was time well spent and that we should meet next week.


We adjourned at approximately 4:40pm.

*  We agreed that a Skinny was equivalent to one-half of a block, which in our case is 85 minutes, making a Skinny 42 or 43 minutes in length.  Therefore, a schedule with Skinnies essentially consists of 43-minute modules some of which are doubled.  (??)


February 16, 2017  3:30 p.m.       Meeting No. 8         Room 15       GHS


Meeting Summary- Brief


  1. We reviewed the meeting summary of January 18th and agreed that it fairly represented what we did at our last meeting.
  2. We agreed that if we got through the first two items, that would be an accomplishment.
  3. We began talking about two of the hybrid schedules that Stu shared with us at the last meeting.There were some issues with when people might take preparation time, particularly during the longer blocks of time. Ultimately, we asked that Ben and Stu spend some time between this meeting and our next meeting looking at some viable approaches to a hybrid schedule that might reflect on the acknowledgement that some students respond better in some subjects to a longer block, while others do better with shorter periods of time.
  4. The conversation on the K-8 Teacher Survey was the next item on the agenda.The general consensus around the table was that this survey would detract from the central purpose of our study.
  5. We agreed that we would focus on the effectiveness part of our charge at out next meeting.
  6. We adjourned at about 5:00 p.m.


February 24, 2017  3:00 p.m.       Meeting No. 9         Room 15       GHS


Tentative Agenda



  1. 3:00Welcome
  2. 3:02Review and modify the meeting summary of February 16th and today’s agenda.
  3. 3:07Effectiveness

    We have had some conversations about this part of our charge and we have studied the intent of the implementers some fifteen years ago. 

    We have also looked at some data regarding what the results have been. 

    Let’s come prepared to discuss what has worked and what seems to still be a challenge, citing specific Student and School Data. 


  4. 3:52Follow-up on Hybrid Schedule from Stu and Ben


  5. 4:20Setting our next meeting
    1. Time, Place
    2. Agenda Items
    3. Other agenda Items for future meetings



      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -   -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

  6. Meeting Evaluation
    1. What went well?
    2. What could we have done better?
    3. What new things could we do next time?


  7. 4:30 (or earlier)Adjourn


Committee Members

           Laurie Aten  .  Ben Bredemeier  .  Jeff Houston  .  Matt Jacobson  .   Gloria Osborn  .  Stu Schaafsma  .  Lori Sundberg  . and Peter Flynn (Consultant)



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