Update from the High School Schedule and Workload Taskforce

high school teacher with two students who are building a robotic vehicle

High School Staff: As you may recall, in January, Dr. Haas and I visited each of our high schools and Center I to discuss the High School Schedule and Workload for both staff and students. During our visits, we shared a few things that we’ve learned: Through climate surveys, it’s clear that our comprehensive high school environments are not as conducive to learning as they could be. We also know that our high school students have not performed as well on SOL tests since our transition to an 8-period day back in 2010. And, perhaps most importantly, we recognize that rapid shifts in our student demographics demand greater focus on knowing each individual student.

In response, we asked for interested staff from each high school to volunteer for a taskforce dedicated to researching, reviewing and considering the impacts of our current schedule, student workload, and the overall well-being of our stakeholders. They did not disappoint. Our “High School Schedule and Workload Taskforce,” including 30 volunteers from our schools and departments, has been meeting twice a month since February.

We’ve used this time to gather research, share scheduling ideas from all schools, and develop operating principles. The taskforce also invited 50 students to Center I for half a day to share their opinions and experiences. Based on this input and feedback, our taskforce drafted three sample schedules aligned to operating principles that were also developed by the taskforce that we believe will help the division best meet our goals. Please note that no change will be made to the 2023-24 high school bell schedules in terms of the number of instructional periods. The earliest any changes would be considered would be for the 2024-25 school year.

The taskforce members from your school will be working with your principal to find the best way to update you on our work and to gather additional input from each of you. This summer, the taskforce will analyze your feedback and develop next steps.


Jay Thomas
Jay Thomas
Executive Director of Secondary Education