Survey says block scheduling successful

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Troup County School System adopted block scheduling for its high schools for the 2021-2022 school year, and it appears to be a positive change, according to survey data shared during Monday night’s school board work session.

Jonathan Laney, the secondary education director, gave an update on block scheduling for the high schools, including a survey of 200 high school students.

That survey showed 62% of students said the scheduling change was positive. Eighty-eight percent of teachers surveyed also found the change to be a good thing.

The change to block scheduling means students are in four classes for 90 minutes apiece, rather than taking seven classes all year long.  According to the discussion at the meeting, AP classes and testing remains the biggest concern with the block schedule. Students who take an AP class in the fall have to take the exam a semester after they have learned the material.

Students in the spring will need to decide if they are taking the exam before they take the class as registration ends in mid-November.

In other action at the meeting, the school board was asked to adopt a proclamation that would recognize this week, Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, as National School Lunch Week.

A resolution was also brought before the board to recognize the theme of the 2021 School Bus Safety Week as “Be Safe – Know the Danger Zone,” which will take place next week Oct. 18 to 22.

The school board discussed where to allocate funds within its budget. The superintendent recommended the annual allocation of funds to Community in Schools for its annual amount of $41,250. The recommendation was made to purchase professional learning from Capturing Kids’ Hearts for $67,500.

Additionally, the school board was asked to approve the purchase of AngelTrax bus surveillance system due to the outdated system having a 50% failure rate.

The AngelTrax system underwent a field test run with 12 busses early this year and the school board is now being asked to consider buying 147 more systems.

These systems reported better video and no hard drive failures when compared to the current system.

The school board additionally was asked to approve replacing Gardner Newman Middle School’s intercom system for $107,008.87 and the second round of a system-wide antimicrobial treatment for $32,287.64.

The data presented to the school board showed 30 new teachers hired with eight paraprofessionals, two substitutes, and two community coaches making the transition to teacher.

The school board will meet again Thursday to vote on these measures.