California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II
Although there are many schedule variations, some are noteworthy.
Culver City Middle School, Culver City Unified School District, a 2003 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
The school follows a regular six-period day on Mondays followed by three, two-hour block periods Tuesday through Friday. A copy of the school schedule is available on the school's Web site.
Gaspar De Portola Middle School, San Diego Unified School District, a 2006 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
To provide students with interventions, clubs, and bonding opportunities, De Portola runs a Six-to-Six (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) supervised before- and after-school program. A copy of the De Portola’s schedule is available on the school's Web site.
Hollister School District
To provide teacher teams with planning time, middle schools in Hollister have a Late Start day once a week. Every Wednesday, classes start an hour later at 9:19 a.m. The new schedule allows teachers 90 minutes to work together during paid time. It required a change in bus schedules and reduced each class period by five minutes.
Medea Creek Middle School, San Diego Unified School District, a 2004 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
Medea Creek was on a block schedule for many years. After much discussion, staff members decided that some students and classes could benefit more by daily contact. Now, physical education and electives are on a 50 minute daily schedule. Seventh- and eighth-grade math and science are on an alternate-day block of 105 minutes. Sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade humanities (English and social studies) and sixth-grade math/science are scheduled for core classes of 105 minutes every day to allow teachers to either teach both subjects every day or flex and focus on one subject for the entire 105 minutes. Link to Medea Creek’s schedule from the school's Web site.
Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District, a 2006 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
This school has established an unusual 4x4 rotating block schedule that enhances the team structure and looping. Students at Toby Johnson have four 90-minute periods per day for nine weeks, which covers one semester. At the end of the nine-week semester, students transition to the first semester of the next four courses. In this way, first and second semester courses alternate every nine weeks. At the end of the year, the students have had eight classes instead of the six, which is traditional at most schools. The schedule allows students to engage in a diverse elective program that includes 21 classes. For example, the schedule allows students to take a class and a half in language arts and a class and a half in mathematics whether they are part of an honors program or they need remedial help.
In the first semester of a sample schedule, the students would take a 90-minute math block in first period. In second period, they might take a 90-minute science block. In third period, they would be with their humanities teacher, who is the only teacher they see every day all year long. Their fourth class is an elective.
In the next nine-week term, the students would stay with their humanities teacher, trade math for “Bridge”—the course that provides them additional instruction to cover some of the standards. The “Bridge” class gives students 45 minutes of mathematics instruction and 45 minutes of reading instruction. In that time, humanities teachers focus on literature tied more directly to history. The “Bridge” teachers cover enough of the standards from math and language arts so those teachers can emphasize the power standards.
Toby Johnson’s bell schedule is on its Web site.
California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814