Lodi Unified Trustees on Tuesday night heard a report on the effectiveness of block schedules at McNair High. The presentation was 100 percent data-driven and, I’m not going to pretend like I have any real grasp as to what the numbers do and don’t mean.
(See the presentation for yourself at www.lodiusd.net. Click on Board of Education, then on the calendar in the upper corner, click on Sept. 18. The agenda from Tuesday will pop up. Then click on the report item.)
What I do know is that trustees seem genuinely interested in trying to learn more about block schedules and whether or not they should implement one at Bear Creek High, Lodi High, and Tokay High.
It’s clear that some teachers are in favor of blocks – 90 minute classes instead of the traditional 55 minute class. Blocks mean students take fewer courses at one time, but churn through them at a faster rate.
Students appear to prefer that.
McNair High junior Cole Her told the board he asked 400 students to sign a petition in support of block schedules. The schedules mean more intense instruction, an opportunity to study better for fewer final exams at one time, etc.
Trustees appear to be supportive of blocks. Trustee President Ron Heberle had some questions stemming from how it affects students who miss a day, and how homework is distributed differently in a block compared to a traditional schedule.
In any event. The district is going to study the issue further as part of its Strategic Plan process.
Long story short, don’t be surprised if sometime in the future block schedules are proposed at all of Lodi Unified’s High Schools. Or, a proposal to see McNair go onto a traditional track.
Time will tell.