Mundelein High officials want your input on future class schedule

  • Mundelein High School Superintendent Kevin Myers spoke about the pros and cons of the block schedule during a board meeting last month.

    Mundelein High School Superintendent Kevin Myers spoke about the pros and cons of the block schedule during a board meeting last month. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/8/2016 1:26 PM

Mundelein High School officials will hold two community meetings this month as they debate whether to jettison their unusual block schedule and implement a traditional eight-period day.

The sessions are set for 6 p.m. Aug. 17 and Aug. 31 in the cafeteria at the school, 1350 W. Hawley St.

 

Mundelein High has been on a block schedule since 1996. Instead of eight 50-minute periods each day, students have four 90-minute classes.

Mundelein is the only high school in Lake County using such a schedule.

Block-schedule proponents have said the longer periods allow more time for hands-on learning and discourage long lectures. Additionally, students can have a more diverse schedule during their high school career because courses are completed quicker.

But critics, including Superintendent Kevin Myers and the members of a team that's studied the issue at Mundelein, say students at schools using a block schedule can forget important material during the gap time between classes in the same subject or between a class and a year-end college placement exam.

"The gap-time issue is critical and has been targeted as one of the major factors for struggling students," Myers said.

The team also said Mundelein students don't have as much time to learn material as they should because classes in a block schedule are compressed to a single semester instead of lasting a full year.

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"We believe that yearlong courses, like those in almost all of the area schools, have definite, strong positive results," Myers said.

Two alternatives have been proposed: a traditional eight-period day, or a modified block schedule that mixes four- and eight-period days.

People who attend the community meetings will hear presentations about the alternative options, and they'll able to ask questions.

"People will hear the results of a year's worth of research and study, and the administration will listen carefully to the concerns of the public," Myers said.

An administrative recommendation to the school board is expected in September.

Any changes would be implemented for the 2017-18 term, not the new school year, which starts Tuesday.

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