This school year, all three high schools in the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools will have uniform class block changes as the district implements a set time for the Academic Enrichment Period.
The AEP period has been in place at the high school level for a number of years as an opportunity for teachers and students to work together outside of the classroom and receive additional assistance as necessary, said Catherine Worley, assistant superintendent for school leadership.
Previously, each high school had AEP set at its own time but the principals of all three schools emailed families Friday to let them know a new schedule would be adopted for the coming school year that would create a uniform schedule throughout the high schools, said Eileen Cox, spokeswoman for WJCC Public Schools.
Throughout the years, the three high schools had been testing which time of day the AEP period was most successful, whether it be in the morning or afternoon. Worley said teachers and administration noticed it being most successful in the middle of the day, right before lunch.
“That time of day seems to work best because all of the students are typically present,” she said. “As opposed to some who might not have a first block or a last block, this gives students greater access.”
Worley said it would also make it easier on students who attended class at other schools half the day or those who come from programs like New Horizons.
But access isn’t the only goal of this change.
Raising attendance numbers was one of the main reasons for making the change, Worley said, as the Virginia Department of Education added attendance to accreditation standards in order to decrease chronic absenteeism.
Worley said the district is constantly monitoring data and she believes there will be an increase in attendance because of the change.
However, she said that’s not a significant change to the schedule as the length of classes are remaining the same as are school start and end times.
The new schedule is as follows:
- Warning bell, 7:15 a.m.
- First block, 7:20 to 8:45 a.m.
- Second block, 8:50 to 10:15 a.m.
- AEP, 10:20 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
- Third block, 10:55 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
- First lunch, 10:55 to 11:20 a.m.
- Second lunch, 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
- Third lunch, 12:20 to 12:50 p.m.
- Fourth block, 12:55 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
For more information, visit WJCC online.