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Highline Public Schools decides not to change high school schedules next year

High school students work on a assignment together in class.

High schools in Highline will stay on the current six-period semester schedule for the time being, Highline Public Schools announced [1] Wednesday, April 26.

Superintendent Susan Enfield said she has concluded that “district staff needs more time to adapt lesson plans and curricula to a schedule that could have longer periods and shorter terms.”

Like many others districts, Highline was considering a new schedule starting in September 2018 to accommodate new state graduation requirements. A trimester system had been recommended by a staff committee that studied a variety of schedule options.

“The reasons for considering a schedule change are still very real for our students,” said Superintendent Enfield. “Our students will have far fewer elective choices and no leeway for failing credits. We must find ways to address these issues, and we will.”

For now, Highline will focus on increasing credit-earning opportunities in middle school, expanding the use of World Language credit by proficiency, and other solutions that work within the current semester schedule.

Highline is not alone. The majority of neighboring districts have also postponed plans for high school schedule changes.

Dr. Enfield said the district will likely consider a schedule change at some point in the future in order to expand credit-earning opportunities for students.

“I am grateful for the families, staff and students who invested time in reviewing schedule options and giving input,” said Dr. Enfield. “I especially want to thank the members of the College & Career Readiness Committee for their willingness to innovate and think outside the box. Their work will guide us as we develop strategies to ensure that all students meet new graduation requirements.”

Here’s a letter sent out to parents on Wednesday:

Dear Families,

After thoroughly considering what it will take to move to a new high school schedule by 2018-19, I have decided to stay with the current six-period semester schedule for now. We simply need more time and resources for all teachers to adapt lesson plans and curricula to a schedule that could have longer periods and shorter terms.

We are not alone. The majority of neighboring districts have also postponed plans for high school schedule changes.

The reasons for considering a schedule change are still very real for our students. Our students will have far fewer elective choices and no leeway for failing credits. We must find ways to address these issues, and we will.

For now, we will focus on increasing credit-earning opportunities in middle school, expanding the use of World Language credit by proficiency, and other solutions that can work within our current semester schedule.

We will likely consider a schedule change at some point in the future in order to expand credit-earning opportunities for students; however, we want to be fully ready to implement the change well before we make a change.

I want to thank families, staff, and students who invested time in reviewing the options and giving input.

I am especially grateful to the members of the College & Career Readiness Committee for their work in researching schedule options. Their willingness to innovate and think outside the box will guide us as we develop strategies to ensure that all students meet new graduation requirements.

Sincerely,
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Superintendent

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