Alternative Schedule

Over the years, many students and teachers have talked about the need for more classroom time to cover material more effectively for deep, authentic learning.

Shenendehowa has embarked on a study to determine the best scheduling model for grades 6-12 (middle and high school) to improve student engagement, achievement and 21st century learning.

The middle school and high school class schedules are currently being examined for possible change in the 2021-22 school year.

Why consider alternative schedules?

Over the years, many teachers have talked about the need for more time to cover material more effectively. Based on research and site visits to other schools, administrators developed a document outlining the key elements necessary for evaluating student schedules. All schedules will be evaluated based on their effectiveness in meeting these elements as well as the Profile of an Engaged Classroom.

A look at Alternative Schedules

Updates and Next Steps

Updated 9/27/19

After research, soliciting input, and discussion, serious consideration is being given to shifting the MS and HS schedule to classes that meet for a longer period of time, less frequently (i.e. an 80-minute, every other day or 60-minute rotating block). While there are many details to be worked out and a final decision has not been made, it’s important that our collective energies be put into researching various options.

Please know, there is no perfect schedule. There will always be barriers to creating a perfect schedule and will also always be some classes students are unable to access. To help with this process, the district has hired a scheduling consultant to work with the committee to look at how different schedules are being constructed in similar size districts that are using alternating blocks and rotating blocks, identify the variables and review professional development options that support teachers when making a change in schedule.

More information will be forthcoming on this webpage with the goal of having a final decision mid-year in the 2019-20 school year for consideration of any implementation in the 2021-22 school year.

Heard a rumor?

As with any change, rumors and misinformation can create unnecessary anxiety. If you hear something that you would like clarified or answered, please e-mail The district will address it here.

  1. The district has already made a decision. That is false, there is still a lot of work to do to have the right information before a decision can be made.
  2. Moving to one of the block schedule options reduces elective options for students. That is also false as students currently have room in their schedule for 8 classes and one lunch. The alternating and rotating block also have room for 8 classes and 1 lunch. The only difference is students cannot take a class during their lunch time. Currently a very small number of students take a class during their lunch. Taking nine classes won’t be an option in a block schedule and is not recommended in a nine-period day either.