Cairo High School to return to block schedule next term
Cairo High School will return to the 4 x 4 block schedule when school reopens for the new term in August.
The Grady County Board of Education unanimously approved the recommendation of Superintendent Lee M. Bailey to shift to the new schedule for the 2015-2016 school term, but monitor through the next scheduled charter school application in fiscal year 2018.
The CHS faculty overwhelming supports the block schedule, which features 90-minute classes.
The school hosted two parent meetings to allow parents and guardians to learn more about the block schedule and to ask questions or express concerns.
Both sessions were moderately attended and no strong opposition from parents about the proposed change was voiced, according to school officials.
“Based on the high school’s presentation at both open meetings, the high school teachers’ willingness to go through the necessary training and preparation, and ultimately the high school Charter School Board’s strong, unanimous support, I recommend support of a probationary period. This provisional period will continue until the next scheduled charter school application in FY2018,” Superintendent Bailey said Tuesday night.
“The emphasis should be on probationary and we must closely monitor academics under this plan,” Board Chairman Teresa Gee Harris said.
The board chair has previously expressed concern that the shift to block schedule focused on the needs of CTAE courses and not academic courses.
Vice Chairman Laura Register said the superintendent and school administration must monitor and follow up on the training and continuing education teachers will be involved in as part of the shift.
Mrs. Register said it was important that teachers “utilize all of the 90 minute block” for instruction.
Board member Jeff Worsham said that the majority of former students and parents of former students he had spoken with all supported the block schedule.
“With the leadership we’ve got now I know it will work,” Worsham added.
Superintendent Bailey said that the school system is focused on providing the high school teachers with year after year training in the 90 minute block delivery method.
CHS administrators have said that attendance, discipline, academic peformance and graduation rates will improve by moving away from the seven period day back to the 4 x 4 block schedule.
Interim CHS Principal Dr. Kermit Gilliard, who is also an assistant superintendent for Grady County Schools, told parents at the recent parent meetings that test scores at the high school had not improved when the school shifted to block schedule or when it came off the block schedule.
“When I met with the teachers last week I told them that it doesn’t matter what schedule we’re on, it’s what you do with the schedule you have. I will continue to preach that because what we’re doing right now is not working,” Dr. Gilliard said at the meeting two weeks ago.
Cairo High School was on a four x four block schedule from 1996 until 2010. Since 2010 the school has operated on the seven period day.