HCHS Block Scheduling Discussion

Dear Henry Clay High School Faculty and Families,

As head principal of Henry Clay High School, I have an obligation to lead the school in the direction I believe is best for all students. For several reasons, I believe the students at Henry Clay High School would benefit greatly if we were to adopt an A/B Block schedule and move away from our current six period schedule. I am proposing this schedule be adopted for the 2021-2022 school year.

During the standard four years of high school, students at Henry Clay are able to participate in 24 classes, while students attending the other five high schools in Fayette County are able to participate in 32. The eight classes difference means our students are missing 1.2 years’ worth of educational opportunity over the course of four years. The majority of those classes would consist of electives allowing them to delve deeper into a core area subject, or electives that would allow them to complete a career pathway.

Several large groups of students within our school suffer the most from our current schedule in regards to educational opportunity. Students participating in the Liberal Arts Academy, Band, Orchestra, JROTC, and a large portion of students with disabilities have the least amount of opportunity for educational exploration because of the requirements of their schedules.

While Henry Clay High School is a strong academic school and has a high proficiency rating (based on math and reading ACT scores) under the current Kentucky Department of Education accountability system, we have a low rating in transition readiness, which is based on a combination of the number of students deemed college ready and career ready. The number of college ready students at Henry Clay is high, but the number of career ready students at Henry Clay has ranked lowest in the district several years in a row. The low number of college ready students is a direct effect of our six period schedule. The number of career pathways possible within a six period schedule is limited in comparison to a schedule that allows for eight classes. Lafayette High School led the district last year with 170 plus career ready students. Henry Clay had only 34 career ready students last year. Our College and Career Readiness Coach is currently working diligently with our guidance counselors to do all that is possible to ensure our students have an opportunity to complete a career pathway, but that opportunity would increase tremendously if we were to adopt a block schedule.

As with any major change within an organization, there will be costs and benefits. Please share any pertinent articles and data relating to this topic using the google form linked on this website. The collected information can also be viewed using the link provided on this website. Please note that in order to contribute to the google form you must have a google account. If you do not have an google account and want to share please email the article and information to Tim Bernardi at timothy.bernardi@fayette.kyschools.us and he will post the information. Our faculty and families will have meetings to discuss all things regarding block scheduling. Once the meeting times are finalized the dates and times will be posted on this website, the HCHS website, and an email will be sent to all stakeholders. Please see the meeting information and dates link on this webpage. Such meetings are necessary to ensure all costs and benefits of a block schedule have been discussed, and the information has been shared with our SBDM committee. We want the decision made by our SBDM committee to change our schedule or keep the current one to be an educated, well thought out decision.

Thank you,

Paul Little Jr.