As you may be aware,
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.††††† Why are we considering a trimester schedule?
†††††††† The trimester schedule will help
2.††††† Are there other schools that have implemented trimesters from which we can learn?
†††††††† Yes- Many schools on the west side of
the state have been using a trimester schedule for some time.† Schools such as
3.††††† What is different between a trimester schedule and the current semester schedule?
†††††††† Students will take 5 classes each for 3 trimesters (70 minute classes for approximately 12 weeks in length), rather than 6 classes for each of 2 semesters (58 minute classes meeting for approximately 18 weeks in length).
4.††††† How long have the alternative scheduling options been studied?
†††††††† Alternative schedules have been discussed in depth for the past year, with trimesters being the focus.† Included in the study process were guest speaker presentations, staff meetings, Board sessions, visits from other schools, and discussions in league and professional meetings.
5.††††† Which courses will meet for one trimester, two trimesters and three trimesters?
†††††††† The general rule is current one semester courses will meet on trimester, current year long (two semester) classes will meet two trimesters.† Band, choir, and Advanced Placement courses will meet all three trimesters.
6.††††† Why do Advanced Placement courses meet three trimesters?† Why not other classes, specifically honors classes?
†††††††† AP courses require more time to cover the rigorous curriculum by the end of April, to earn college credit.† Regarding honors courses, we are still studying the topic.
7.††††† If a student would like to take three trimester of a core subject area, is he/she able to do this?
†††††††† Yes, through the process of scheduling, and developing new curriculum a student can take three trimesters of a core subject.† For example, a student could take Algebra II for two trimesters, then the third trimester he/she could take a trimester of Trigonometry which would prepare that student for Pre-Calculus.
the trimester schedule going to improve learning or is this strictly a response
†††††††† We believe it is an effective response to the MMC and at the same time has the potential to improve the educational experience for all students.
9.††††† What impact will trimester schedules have for students that struggle?
†††††††† Students will be allowed to re-take courses during the school year.† Also, they will only have five classes to prepare for on a daily basis.† Furthermore, they should never have more than three core courses in a given trimester (this is one of the benefits to a trimester schedule).
10.††† What impact will there be if the middle school remains on a semester schedule and the high school switches to a trimester schedule?
†††††††† This should not be an issue.†
11.††† How will credits be determined?
†††††††† A half credit (.5) will be earned for each trimester course.† The total number of credits needed to graduate will be studied and them implemented.
12.††† Will trimesters have a negative impact on college admissions?
†††††††† No- We have surveyed U of M, MSU,
13.††† Will the longer class periods go beyond a studentsí attention span?
†††††††† Learning from school districts that have previously implemented the trimester schedule, it will continue to be important for us to stress to our staff the importance of instructional design strategies- such as, every 7-12 minutes there should be a classroom transition.† This type of teaching will allow our students the opportunity to learn at a pace which allows for retention.
14.††† Is it true that there will be less minutes of instruction for each course in the trimester format?
†††††††† Yes, when comparing a single trimester course to a semester course, there are less minutes of instruction.† However, when considering the total minutes of instruction available within† a content area/department over the course of 4 years, there are actually more minutes of instruction.† Additionally, there will be two more minutes of instruction each day, as there are only five classes that meet.
15.††† What are the advantages of a trimester schedule?
†††††††† There are many advantages including:
∑ Students will have increased elective opportunities
∑ Students will have fewer classes to prepare for on a daily basis
∑ Students will have the flexibility to develop an educational development plan that meets their needs for the future
∑ Students will be able to meet the requirements of the MMC
16.††† What are the disadvantages of the trimester schedule?
†††††††† When comparing a single trimester course to a semester course, there are less minutes of instruction in the trimester course.† Also, in the beginning, staff will be faced with pacing challenges.
17.††† To determine the effectiveness of the trimester schedule, what evaluation process will be used?
†††††††† The following criteria will be used:
a. Graduation rate
b. Grade point average
c. Number of course failures
d. Number of discipline referrals
e. Standardized test scores including MME/ACT
f. Advanced Placement results
g. College admission rates
h. Freshman year of college grade point average
i. Amount of classes failed
j. Survey of the parents, students, and staff