You may or may not know this, but we have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few years engaged in work at the high school level, particularly around schedules, increasing course offerings, bell times and technology.
Today, I’m excited to share with you news that, for the first time in the history of our district, we will have all four high schools on the same schedule!
After many months of planning, we will be moving forward with an eight-period schedule for the 2017-18 school year at the same time our new start/end times go into effect. The eight-period schedule is also known as a 4×8 schedule, which consists of an eight-class schedule with four block classes alternating every other day.
I realize not all of our families are in the “high school mindset,” either because your children are younger or maybe you’re already counting down the days until graduation, but it’s an exciting point in time for us, and this new schedule will help us in our vision to improve student balance, flexibility and elective opportunities at the high school level. This decision was made over many months of collaboration, research and thoughtful feedback from our high school students, staff and administrators. The eight-period schedule will also help our students meet increased state graduation requirements.
There is still much to do and figure out over the next 15 months. Jeannie Hayden, who is currently assistant principal at Sunnyland Elementary, will transition into a new role in July to focus on the planning and implementation needed for the eight period schedule. Ms. Hayden will focus her work on supporting all four of our high schools as they move to a common schedule. She brings incredible experience and enthusiasm to this position. She has coordinated master schedule logistics for Squalicum and Bellingham high schools, Kulshan Middle School and a high school in Bellevue. Ms. Hayden has done extensive work on course catalogue development both in Bellingham and Bellevue; worked closely with teams of staff, counselors and students to develop and implement new courses; and served as a secondary administrator for over 24 years.
I look forward to sharing more details about our high school schedule as the planning work occurs next school year.