Editor's Note: This story has been revised to remove two quotations originally published by the Easton Express. We apologize to the Easton Express and to the readers of Palmer-Forks Patch.
The Easton Area School Board will take an in depth look at block scheduling for Easton Area High School.
On Tuesday, the Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of authorizing an action plan that could change the time schedule at the high school for the 2012-13 school year.
The board has authorized Maura Roberts, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction to create a mock schedule for the board to determine if the plan is a good idea for the high school. Roberts will bring those findings back to the board by October. The board will then take a further look the plan and make a final decision.
Roberts said the board’s approval of the action plan was a good sign that the district could proceed with the plan.
Currently the school operates on a nine period schedule, 41 minutes each period. Under a block scheduling plan each course would be 80 minutes for five periods. That includes a 40 minute lunch period and 40 minute intervention and enrichment period where students get extra help in areas that focus on state-standardized tests.
But there are some additional concerns under block scheduling.
“One of the problems with block scheduling is that a student can take Algebra 1 in their sophomore year and then not take Algebra 2 until the second semester in their junior year,” said board member Pat Vulcano.
With such a long break, Vulcano said he is concerned that students will forget what they learned and the break could potentially hurt test scores.
Kevin Deely, president of the Easton Area Education Association teachers union said some teachers have also expressed concern that block scheduling could lower test scores with the potential of some courses only being offered one-half of the year. But the scheduling would help students who need more help with certain subject matters by providing additional course hours.