Proposed Master Schedule Changes Discussed at BOE Meeting
At Tuesday night’s Board of Education Work Session Meeting, EUFSD Superintendent Dr. Ronald Valenti took to the podium to speak about the future of secondary education in Eastchester. And while Dr. Valenti is confident that the district is making progress in many areas, including improving student outcomes, he believes that there is always more that can be done to enhance the educational experience for our youngsters.
Citing some of the limitations of the schedules currently being used in Eastchester’s Middle and High Schools—including weekly instructional minute totals that barely meet State Education Department requirements and a lack of available in-school extra help for all students—Dr. Valenti outlined a two-year plan that would seek to address these issues.
Under the proposed plan, EMS and EHS would move towards extended 9 period days in the September 2024 and—dependent on data collection and feedback from teachers, students and community members—possibly transition to a block schedule as early as September 2025.
Aside from simply increasing students’ daily instruction time by 35 minutes each day, one of the key areas targeted by this scheduling shift is the facilitation of more student-teacher interaction, said Dr. Valenti. Under the new plan, optional after-school extra help—now available to students from 2:26 to 2:53 p.m.—would be replaced by scheduled “Eagle Periods” that would carve out in-school time for both extra instruction as well as student-teacher advisory periods. This shift would ensure that all students have access to teachers and staff to discuss both academic issues as well as social-emotional ones.
“This is our first opportunity to examine an extended 9-period day for next school year,” said Dr. Valenti. “We will continue the conversation at future board and PTA meetings.”
Tuesday’s meeting was was the first chance for both the Board and the community to look at the proposed schedule, and Dr. Valenti said he looks forward to a healthy round of discussion and feedback as stakeholders begin to consider the merits and logistics of making such a change.
“With the hiring of a new high school principal for next school year, we have the benefit of their involvement in a 6-12 Secondary Committee consisting of administrators, chairs and team leaders,” said Dr. Valenti. “This group can study 21st century scheduling models such as block scheduling and their potential benefits for our secondary students.”
To see Dr. Valenti’s Feb. 6 presentation on the proposed changes to the 6-12 Master Schedule, please click HERE.
For slides pertaining to the proposal, please click HERE.