Northumberland Middle School adopts block scheduling for 2018-19

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

CLARAVILLE—The Northumberland school board on July 9, the first day of the district’s summer school session, entertained a report on changes to the middle school’s schedule next year.

“I noticed in our science courses, in 45 minutes students can’t do any hands-on learning, they can’t do the labs. So in order to strengthen that, we needed to make a change to the scheduling,” said principal Javornda Ashton.

Science and history classes at the middle school will now be on a block schedule. Class periods for those courses will now be twice as long as they are now, but students will only take each subject for one semester of each year. Science SOLS will therefore be held at the end of each semester, in the fall and spring. English and math classes are already on a block schedule at the middle school.

“Also, for the 2018-2019 school year, our history courses will be project-based,” Ashton said. “They’ll be more flexible with instructional strategies that teachers can use over longer periods of time, 90 minutes, which will allow for deeper thinking and project-based instruction.”

Also during the superintendent’s report, the board heard a presentation on the safety requirements and training of bus drivers over the summer. In addition to passing a Virginia Department of Transportation physical exam and having a good driving record, bus drivers will receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, First Aid and Attention Deficit Disorder before the start of the school year, reported Stacy Branem, transportation designee…..