Campus to get first taste of blocked schedule in days after break

Sakshi Venkatraman, Executive News Editor

Graphic by Austin Banzon.
Graphic by Austin Banzon.

As the first semester of the 2016-17 school year draws to a close, the implications of the May 2016 bond plan are beginning to take shape within Coppell ISD.

The district’s new freshman center, CHS9, one of the package’s primary features, is expected to open for the 2018-19 school year and administration is already creating the layout for a smooth transition. One aspect of this layout is the release of an official blocked schedule last month.

The schedule, which operates on an A/B day system, is designed to reduce the burden of a seven class period day on Coppell High School students.

“One of the primary reasons that we’re switching to the blocked schedule and leaving the seven period day is, in a large sense, to try and bring some stress relief to students,” CHS Principal Mike Jasso said. “The overwhelming thing we hear from [students] is that you go through a daily grind of stress. There a tremendous amount of stress on both [CHS and New Tech High@Coppell].”

To alleviate some of the pressure of having to take homework from seven classes a day, CHS students will attend primarily periods two, three and four on A days and periods five, six and seven on B days. Each of these classes will last 85 minutes.

First and eighth period will be “skinny” periods. These daily classes will last 55 minutes and will be held every day of the week. According to CHS associate principal Jon-Eric Zaier, these periods will often consist of sports and other extracurricular activities needing to meet daily.

Lunches will be split into four 30 minute periods embedded into third and sixth period respectively. Passing periods will double to 12 minutes, creating the framework for the intercampus transportation that will follow after CHS9 is opened. During this extended period of time, the school store will be open for student use.

With the updated schedule, the length of the school day will actually decrease by two minutes. For a student who has a class every period, the day will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:58 p.m. According Ziaer, arrangements are being made with North Lake Community College and NTH@C in order to align schedules to allow for travel between buildings.

Throughout the development of the blocked schedule plan, administration has been working to assess opinions from all areas on the spectrum. Students on Jasso’s Principal Advisory Committee (PAC), have met with Jasso periodically over the past few months to learn and share their feelings about the changes to come to CHS.

Izzy Hall, a junior member, says the outlook of some PAC members began to evolve as more information was released and the purpose of a blocked schedule was made clearer.

“We’re still in a place where there’s not really definite answers for everything,” Hall said. “We definitely all glad that it’s being talked about. I do think that [CISD] does have a good idea of where we’re going to be going from here on out.”

Jasso and Zaier emphasize campus and district administration have held similar briefings with parents and staff, taking in input and providing clarification.

On Jan. 4-6, there will be a trial run of the 2017-18 blocked schedule at CHS. Students will be briefed on the new model of their classes before winter break with emails from Jasso and KCBY-TV segments. Schedules and release times will look different for underclassmen and upperclassmen, according to Zaier.

Students are advised to check their school emails and for updates.