BERRYVILLE — Clarke County High School students will have to adjust to a daily eight-period schedule when classes resume Aug. 31.
One person voiced opposition to the plan at Monday night’s School Board meeting.
For roughly 20 years, the high school has operated on an A/B block schedule with four classes meeting each day. Classes have alternated daily, with periods lasting between 85-95 minutes.
Plans for students to attend all eight of their classes daily, amid shorter periods, were announced in June.
Discussions about having eight-period days began two years ago. The idea was put on the back burner when the COVID-19 became an issue, according to Clarke County Public Schools Superintendent Chuck Bishop.
Henry Schmick of White Post suggested to the School Board on Monday night that implementing eight-period days be postponed longer.
“Going back to school is going to be a stressful event” for students, Schmick said. “Why are you going to make it more intense?”
Clarke County Public Schools plans to resume in-person learning five days a week when the new school year starts.
Eight classes daily will be “much more of a cognitive load on them,” forcing them to do more multi-tasking, he said.
Schmick suggested keeping block scheduling and starting the school day at the high school at 9:05 a.m. instead of 8:05 a.m., so students can get an extra hour of sleep each night. He indicated that could help them learn better.
Neither board members nor division administrators responded to Schmick’s comments.
Bishop, in his email to The Star, wrote that having worked in public schools for 30 years, “I’ve learned that there is no perfect schedule, just as there is no perfect school calendar. Each schedule has its pros and cons.”
“It is our belief that students will benefit from seeing their teachers each day, especially as we return from the inconsistencies created by the pandemic,” he said.
Eight-period days “will be an adjustment for staff and students, but one that we will work through together,” Bishop added.