Why are Jacksonville’s high school and middle school students s taking 8 classes at a time.

With a bit of pride the super said Duval’s middle school
and High school students will be taking 8 classes at a time, if that seem
a lot to you, you’re not the only one.
 

I called the University of
North Florida and asked them what a full time college schedule was. They told
me it was four classes. I asked the lady who picked up if I could take eight at
a time. At first I believe she thought I was joking. When I assured her I
wasn’t she said I would have to get a special override but it was unlikely that
I would get permission. That’s just too many classes, she said. 

I called Jacksonville University and asked them what a full time college
schedule was. They told me it was four classes. I asked the lady who picked up
if I could take eight at a time. At first I believe she thought I was joking.
When I assured her I wasn’t she said I would have to get a special override but
it was unlikely that I would get permission. It would be crazy to take that
many classes, she said. 

I called Florida State College at Jacksonville and asked them what a full time
college schedule was. They told me it was four classes. I asked the lady who
picked up if I could take eight at a time. At first I believe she thought I was
joking. When I assured her I wasn’t she said I would have to get a special
override but it was unlikely that I would get permission. I have never heard of
anybody ever taking that many classes, she said. 

I didn’t have the heart to tell the lady all the students in public high school
and middle school here in Jacksonville would now be taking eight classes at a
time. That’s right they all take classes that are either double what would be
considered full time in college. 12 year
olds will be included in that mix.

Now the reason might be laudable. The super wants kids who are often forced to
take remedial classes to be allowed to take at least one perhaps two electives.
I get it and I like it but 8 classes, and make that 8 ninety minute classes,
is to many.

This fast food, video game
generation is not programmed to sit in a class for ninety minutes at a time,
simply put they don’t have the attention span. Invariably this leads to
instruction time being lost in many classes and in more than a few this leads
to discipline problems as well. If classes were fifty minutes, coincidently
enough the same length as the majority of college classes’, kids would be
distracted less and focused more. 



If classes lose just ten percent of their time to discipline or down time then they kids in those classes have just lost 19 days worth of instruction. A lot of classes lose a lot more time.
Any
adults out there seen a movie recently? A movie say you aren’t all that interested
in, like most kids English and math classes, well at what point did you start fidgeting? 
Okay some of you might not be
sold about what a horrendous idea this is. Then think about how frequently kids
meet, make that infrequently. Testing, holidays, absences all put extra time in
between class meetings. A lot of the kids need constant reinforcement but the A/B block assures they are not going to get it. 5 days in between meetings is not uncommon and that sets a lot of our kids
back. When I taught at a local high schools I once (because of testing and one absence) went
two weeks between meeting several classes.
Eight classes no matter how
laudable the goal to have kids get an elective might be, really sets our kids
back. 
What about six 50 minute
classes that met daily or what I like to call the schedule everybody had prior
to the year 1998. And you listeners in Orange Park no what i am talking about because your students only take six classes at a time. With six classes there should be room for an elective, less time between meetings
so reinforcement can take place and many of our attention and some of our discipline
problems would be solved.
We can’t continue to put kids
in positions where success is hard to achieve and then wonder why they do
poorly. Well I guess we could but then we will continue to be where we are.

Are you happy with where we
are?

4 Replies to “Why are Jacksonville’s high school and middle school students s taking 8 classes at a time.”

  1. When Block Scheduling was first introduced here in Duval, we were told the reason was for the teachers to have higher student 'loads'. Therefore, it was an economy move disguised as an educational move for the students.

  2. They take 8 classes over the course of 2 semesters. At university, they take 4 classes over the course of a semester.

  3. From what I understand they are taking 8 classes at a time, nobody in college takes 8 classes at a time. If it was 4 a semester that would be fine.

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