Oakland High School proposes new schedule

School may move to a “4×4″ block schedule for 2014-15; PE to absorb swim classes

By Minnie Nguyen

Oakland High School has a proposed new schedule for the school year of 2014-2015. OHS Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi  has suggested a “four-by-four” class schedule requested by the OUSD.

The new schedule would consist of a four-period day, with each class lasting 90 minutes. The school year would be made up of  four nine-week-long semesters. There is a 75% chance of the four-by-four happening, according to Abdel-Qawi.

In the proposed plan, students would get the opportunity to take eight classes each school year. In addition to that,  they would be able to earn more credits and possibly graduate faster. The schedule might include new class styles like “skinny classes,” which would last only 45 minutes, and an advisory class.

“It sounds lovely,” said Susan Yee, Wellness Center Director. “Six periods a day are kinda crazy, it is a lot to take in. Plus, I think it is kind of like college. Might be interesting. But, I can see the downfall of it.”

If Oakland High tries the four-by-four system, we will be the first school in the OUSD to do so. If the pilot goes well then the four-by-four will gradually be added into other schools in the OUSD district. The schedule is set up to benefit the freshmen the most and get 80% of students in an academy, according to Abdel-Qawi.

“The district has a mandate for the school board to go wall-to-wall academies,” said Abdel-Qawi. “At least 80% of students in an academy. In order for that to happen, the school districts around the country that are wall-to-wall academies have four-by-four schedules. It really supports the academy model by giving students the opportunity to take additional classes within the academy as well as opportunities for internships where and when available.”

OHS teachers expressed some of their concerns towards the new schedule proposal. For instance, some worried that changing the schedule might reduce the amount of learning in classrooms and that it would be hard for students to catch up on missing work.

“We can’t be careless with our decision,” said Mark Piccillo, OHS chemistry teacher.

Aside from the possibility of the new schedule, OHS will also be no longer having a swimming class next year, said counselor Carlos Padilla. Instead, swimming will be incorporated into regular P.E. classes.

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