One of our most active committees is the Scheduling Structures Committee. This committee was tasked with examining the strengths and weaknesses of our current schedule of eight periods per day/four marking periods per year. After having the opportunity to examine research on highly effective schools, conduct visits to multiple high-achieving high schools, and review stakeholder survey data, it became clear that the eight-period day was no longer providing optimum support for our students or for the learning that is expected in a 21st-century high school.
One of the solutions that we investigated is the Trimester Scheduling model. Trimester schedules divide the year into three parts, with students taking fewer courses at one time than in a traditional semester schedule. As noted by National Association of Secondary School Principals in their book Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform, the trimester schedule has multiple benefits over the traditional eight-period day, including the following opportunities: increased depth of study and higher quality work; the ability for students to focus on fewer courses at one time; offering a greater variety of courses over the course of a year; increased opportunity to complete AP coursework before beginning the college applications process; and credit recovery options that are built into the school year.
This fall, following a period of intense and thorough research, site visitations, and consultation with experts and stakeholders, the Scheduling Structures committee crafted a new DAHS Course Guide that presents current and new courses within a trimester scheduling framework. Today we are pleased to announce that the DASD School Board has unanimously approved the 2016-2017 DAHS Course Guide. The School Board's approval of the 2016-2017 DAHS Course Guide has paved the way for the implementation of the trimester scheduling model in the 2016-2017 school year.Over the next few years we will be closely monitoring student achievement and utilizing research, stakeholder input, and evidence-based practice to further shape our implementation of the new scheduling model into a structure that better inspires and creates pathways for the present and future success of all Dallastown Area High School students. It is an exciting time to be a Wildcat! For details about the 2016-2017 Course Guide, Trimester Scheduling, and the HS Redesign process, please explore the wealth of information provided on this website.