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San Benito
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March 27, 2023

SBHS adds homeroom period for 2018-19

Courtesy of San Benito High School:

San Benito High School is modifying its bell schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 school year to add a 35-minute homeroom/academic focus period four days per week to embed a dedicated opportunity for teachers to provide intervention and enrichment for all students.

“With a dedicated time to intervene and enrich learning, we now shift our system to where a student cannot opt out of receiving support outside of class,” said Principal Adrian Ramirez. “We can also guarantee to our community that every student will have an opportunity, within the bell schedule, to access support in a more equitable system.”

The current rotating three-block schedule, which features three 100- to 105-minute blocks every other day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a shortened schedule on Thursdays, will now feature 80- or 90-minute blocks with a 35-minute homeroom period on Mondays and a same-length academic focus period on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The optional Zero Period, currently offered as a 62-minute period from 7:35-8:37 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, will move to a daily, 60-minute period running from 7:35-8:35 a.m.

The regular school day will start at 8:45 a.m. — five minutes early than this year — and the instructional day will still end at 3 p.m., which is the same as this year. Minimum days will still take place on Thursday, with school ending at 1:45 p.m., instead of 1:50 p.m. under the current schedule.

Acknowledging that “students learn at different rates and different modalities,” Ramirez said it is safe to assume that not every student will learn or grasp an essential concept or skill on the first, second or even third attempt.

“We also know that within our current model, if teachers are unable to provide systematic opportunities for re-teaching/re-learning within the bell schedule of their classes, we rely on offering students opportunities for support before school, at lunch or after school,” the principal said.”This is not a bad thing. In fact, we should be praising our teachers who provide this time for their students. The issue is that we can state with certainty that a very fractional percentage of our student population actually participates in the additional support provided by teachers outside of classroom time.”

To address this, administrators this year have been meeting with and gathering feedback from teachers and other San Benito High School staff members to come up with a schedule that replaces an optional tutorial system that Ramirez said yields “minimal results.”

For students who are academically driven, have social capital and don’t have other barriers to learning, the current system works, Ramirez said.

“However, we know that a significant percentage of our student population has to navigate through barriers that prevent or discourage them from taking advantage of these opportunities outside of the bell schedule,” he said.

Acknowledging that some students who do “get it” the first time or within the regular class period may feel they have no use for after-school tutoring, Ramirez said the new academic focus period embedded within the daily schedule will benefit students who are achieving at proficient or advanced levels, as they may need support.

“Take, for example, a student who is enrolled in an advanced course,” Ramirez said. “Having dedicated time to access support in preparing for an upcoming test, a comprehensive writing assignment or a group project would be just as valuable for those students. It would also allow the opportunity for those students to collect work if they are leaving school early for an activity, or come in to make up or catch up on missed work.”

Additional details about the schedule will be shared with students and parents in advance of the start of the 2018-19 school year in August.

Click here to see a comparison between the current and new bell schedules.