Proposed 21-22 High School Schedule

Mindful Mondays*:

School Day: 9:05 am - 4:25 pm
Classes: 50 min. periods

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

Period 4

Period 5

Period 6

Period 7

Tuesday/ Thursday:

School Day: 9:05 am - 3:25 pm
Classes: 90 min. periods

Period 2

Period 4

Period 6

Flex Time
(Virtual and/or In-person):
Intervention Enrichment, Extracurricular Extension, Targeted Support

Wednesday/ Friday:

School Day: 9:05 am - 4:25 pm
Classes: 90 min. periods

Period 1

Period 3

Period 5

Period 7

Periods marked in red are opportunities for seniors to either have early release for jobs and/or internships.

*Exceeds the 75,600 minutes, as required by the state of Texas.

  • Why This Schedule Structure?

    The NEISD Curriculum & Instruction Dept. has designed this schedule to help maximize our safety plan and keep instruction as a priority in our schools. Many saw the benefits of this schedule which allowed students and teachers more time during class periods to study course content in greater depth, provided more time for teacher collaboration, and provided more time for individualized student intervention and/or enrichment.

    Our proposed block schedule is designed to help students and teachers continue to focus on fewer classes a day and to explore material in greater depth. The schedule will provide more time during the school day to better support the academic needs of all our students.


FAQs

  • Why call Mondays “Mindful Mondays”?

    Posted by:

    This was just a place holder and campuses are encouraged to choose an appropriate name that reflects their campus culture. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What about the mental well-being of our children and their friends?

    Posted by:

    This was one of the major drivers of our decision-making.  We know our students have had a difficult year and we need to make as many resources available to help them adjust back to being in school all day.  Students will have 45 minute lunches on the 90 minute days and have access to any teacher, counselor, coach, etc. they need during 45 minutes of FLEX time.  In fact, we are in the process of discussing how campuses can create workshops of support for students during the flex-time.  For example, counseling support, financial literacy, organizational strategies, writer workshops, resume writing, etc. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the rush?

    Posted by:

    We are not trying to rush this idea, but we feel the students are already on block and many teachers adjusted their teaching this year to support a 90 minute class period.  Perhaps the learning curve won’t be as steep as we plan professional development for teachers and prepare to close potential achievement gaps.  We have learned a great deal this year and always strive to improve learning for all students. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Is there a Student Voice meeting summary in which campus student reps. gave feedback on the schedule

    Posted by:

    We did not write a summary of the Student Voice meeting because it was a conversation and opportunity to hear from students on what they like and disliked about the schedule.  As we listened, we evaluated if the things they mentioned could be met better in this schedule or with a traditional one.  This is a small sampling, but it gave us an idea of some concerns our students may have as we continue the planning stages of our efforts.  

    Comments (-1)
  • Why weren’t rising high schoolers not consulted?

    Posted by:

    We sent the letter to everyone who may be affected in the fall of 2021 because they will be the ones impacted.  We expect we will make adjustments this school year based on lessons learned.  Therefore, students in lower grades may not be expected to follow the same schedule once they are in high school.  We will evaluate the schedule throughout the year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Were parents consulted prior to visiting with the principals?

    Posted by:

    We did not consult with parents prior to visiting with principals because they are the instructional leaders for their campuses and we would not make a major change unless it was good for students.  Once they saw the potential benefits, they took the thinking to their teacher leaders, PTAs, and CICs to see if we should continue to explore this idea.  When the educational professionals felt it was worth looking further into, we sent the letter to parents asking for their input and suggestions. This week we have been reviewing all the information from the Google Form and addressing common themes and concerns about the schedule.  We have also called some parents because they had a large number of questions that are difficult to answer in an e-mail.  

    Comments (-1)
  • How will parents communicate the effectiveness of the new schedule?

    Posted by:

    This schedule is only a framework to help teachers work with students and meet their needs on a daily basis.  We ask our teachers to consider four questions during their PLC time:  What do we want our kids to know, how will we know they know it, how will we respond if they don’t get it, and how will we enrich their learning if they do?  All that being said, we still ask that parents communicate with their schools if a teacher or teacher(s) are not providing the instruction their child needs.  As a district we will also evaluate the schedule at semester to see if it proving to be beneficial or not.  Based on this feedback, we will look at possible adjustments and/or strategic abandonment.  Please understand our lens is to see the whole district and not just one or two sites.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do we ensure the 90 minutes are utilized to their fullest potential?

    Posted by:

    (This year we experience some wasted time during the 90 minute classes.) 

    This year is not like any other year because our teachers are trying to teach in a hybrid environment with a small number of in-person students and all others on Zoom, which we believe contributed to some of the quality.  Regardless, we completely understand the concern about staff not using the 90 minutes wisely, which is why we will be developing professional learning for teachers on how to provide quality instruction in a 90 minute block.  The 90 minutes is not about teachers lecturing to students for an hour, but really it’s about allowing time for students to engage in research, collaboration, and presentation of knowledge. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What instruction will occur on Mondays?

    Posted by:

    Monday instruction is essentially like a traditional school day where the teacher will frame the lesson for the day/week.  This is a shorter class period so teachers will actually spend most of the time in direct instruction and students will have a smaller amount of time for collaboration and independent practice.

    Comments (-1)
  • When does the new schedule start?

    Posted by:

    The schedule will begin next school year (2021-2022).

    Comments (-1)
  • Why can't we keep this year's schedule?

    Posted by:

    While we would have loved to keep this year's schedule, TEA requires us to meet 75,600 operational minutes per school year. In this year's schedule, we were allowed to count the asynchronous time as part of the operational day. This will not be the same for the upcoming year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is FLEX mandatory?

    Posted by:

    Yes for all students unless they are eligible for senior release.  Please keep in mind FLEX allows for students to attend enrichment classes (athletics, fine arts, cte, etc…) if they are in good academic standing and the teacher provides a pass. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Is FLEX the only time students will receive tutoring?

    Posted by:

    90 minute class periods are intended to provide time for tutoring and intervention services yet when additional support is required, the Flex period will be dedicated for that. Additional tutoring may be offered before or after school by teachers on an appointment basis.

    Comments (-1)
  • Could the FLEX days be on Wednesday/Friday instead of Tuesday/Thursday?

    Posted by:

    Initially, this is what we had attempted to do but campuses felt that Tuesdays and Thursdays were the best days for teachers to collaborate. This is due to the fact that many extra curricular activities occur on Fridays which would mean that coaches and fine arts teachers would not be able to participate.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the purpose of "Mindful Mondays"? Why can't we just do a true alternating block?

    Posted by:

    A true alternating block would have an additional cost because we would need to add teachers/classes, and in an alternating block, students only get to see their teachers 3 times a week every other week. Using the Mindful Mondays as an anchor to the week allows teachers to consistently see their students 3 times a week and frame the learning for the week.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why does the day end so late (4:25)?

    Posted by:

    While we would have loved to keep this year's schedule, TEA requires us to meet 75,600 operational minutes per school year. In this year's schedule, we were allowed to count the asynchronous time as part of the operational day. This will not be the same for the upcoming year. Additionally, transportation needs a certain amount of time between elementary, middle, and high school routes to ensure students are picked up on time. Our fleet is lean, and, therefore, the buses are shared amongst all grade levels. With some elementary schools ending at 3.30 and middle schools ending at 3.50, it is challenging for transportation to get the buses to the high schools earlier than 4.25.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why can't the dismissal times be the same every day?

    Posted by:

    We have to meet the state requirement of 75,600 minutes.  Additionally, these two days of early dismissal allows for all teachers to meet and collaborate on their students' needs. The research on school improvement indicates that teachers having more time to work together creates better learning outcomes for students.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will the changing end times be confusing for students/families?

    Posted by:

    What we have learned from the pandemic is that parents and students are quite resilient and adaptable. While it may take a few weeks to adjust to this schedule, we strongly believe that a routine will be developed.

    Comments (-1)
  • How can we ensure students do not receive an overload of homework?

    Posted by:

    The District office will work closely with campuses to create a homework schedule that will allow students to spread out their homework. Additionally, we will work to ensure the FLEX time is used solely for intervention or enrichment, and not for extra homework though students CAN use FLEX time to complete homework.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do we ensure time isn't wasted during the 90 minute blocks?

    Posted by:

    The District office will work with teachers to understand how to manage the block schedule in each content area.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does this schedule impact CTE courses and magnets? Will transportation still run the way it has

    Posted by:

    Transportation will continue for CTE magnets and off-campus courses.  Courses at iCSI and CTEC will be in blocks of 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 5th/6th - thus, these courses will meet each day.  More specific magnet bus information will be sent out, closer to the beginning of the school year. 

    Comments (-1)
  • How does this schedule impact fine arts?

    Posted by:

    Fine Arts courses will be strategically placed in periods that will allow for optimal rehearsal/practice time, which could flow into a lunch period, after-school practice or before school practice flowing into the 1st period of the day. Longer periods on Tuesdays-Fridays will allow for further skill development during the school day.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does the schedule impact athletics? How will athletics work?

    Posted by:

    Athletics will function as it has in the past.  Athletic periods will be placed in the schedule to maximize the 300 minutes allowed per week by the UIL while flex periods will be utilized to maintain eligibility as well as improve athletic skills.

    Comments (-1)
  • What research did the district use to guide their decision-making process?

    Posted by:

    The research we consulted can be found in this Google folder.

    Comments (-1)