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Schedule Changes Ahead for AHS and AJH

 

Next year, the Angleton ISD secondary campuses will see some significant changes to their daily schedules. Both Angleton High School and Angleton Junior High School will transition to an eight-period school day, and AHS will also change how they offer off periods to seniors.

 

“Our goal is to graduate students who have the skills they need to prepare them for their futures,” AISD Superintendent Phil Edwards said. “The changes we are making to scheduling will help us give students even more tools that will allow them to be successful and ready for the next chapters of their lives.”

 

One of the main changes being made is the move to an eight-period day. Administration at AHS and AJH, as well as district administration, have been working together to create a plan that will benefit both schools.

 

Edwards says there are many advantages to moving to an eight-period day.

 

“Going to eight periods will help reduce class sizes and will allow us to provide more instructional time and opportunities for students,” he said.

 

The extra period will allow both schools time for extra remediation and intervention for students at risk of failing a class or failing a STAAR or end of course exam, and it will provide another period for teachers to be available to help students doing credit recovery classes.

 

Also, the eighth period will give both junior high and high school students an opportunity to take at least one additional class of interest or elective to their schedules.

 

AHS Lead Counselor Bobby Adamson says the extra period will help increase the school’s career readiness standards as well.

 

“With an eight-period day, students have more opportunities to get industry-based certifications when we are able to double-block specific CTE (career and technology education) classes that are necessary for students to take in order to get accreditations for specific certifications,” he said. “Students have been struggling to finish certifications within a seven-period day.”

 

AJH and AHS must align their daily schedules because they share teaching staff who move between the campuses. Next year’s schedule will run from 8:05 am to 3:50 pm with 50-minute classes at both the high school and junior high campuses.

 

In addition to the move to an eight-period day at the high school, seniors will see changes made to their off periods. Students will only be allowed a maximum of two off periods in very specific arrangements.

 

If students are eligible for two off periods, they must choose to take them 1st and 2nd periods, 7th and 8th periods, or 1st and 8th periods. If they are only eligible for one off period, students must take that period either 1st or 8th period.

 

Students will also have to be off campus during their off periods, which administration says will help increase school safety since students will not be allowed to move around campus when they are in an off period. This decision will help school personnel better track who is on the premises.

 

Also, seniors must meet the state’s college and career readiness standards in order to qualify for an off period. They will have to meet qualification indicators in one of the following: the ACT/SAT, PSAT, TSI or AP exams.

 

The district plans to help students meet those indicators and has qualified to administer the TSI test, or Texas Success Initiative Assessment, that determines the appropriate level of college course work for incoming students and whether or not they possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively at the collegiate level.

 

The high school will offer two chances this spring for current juniors to take the TSI free of charge. Edwards says this is another example of how the district is committed to making sure students have the opportunities they need to be as successful as possible.

 

“We are continuously looking for ways to make sure our students have access to programs and tools to meet and exceed standards, and we never want to place limitations on our students,” he said. “That is why the district is paying for two administrations of the TSI test for our juniors so we can make sure they have the chance to qualify for off periods but, more importantly, to make sure they are prepared appropriately for college as needed.”

 

AISD Director of Secondary Education Lisa Davis says the district strives to ensure students are prepared for life after high school.

 

“The state is pushing for more college and career readiness, which we started emphasizing years ago, but these schedule changes will help us get our students even more prepared for their post-secondary education or career and help us continue to meet state expectations,” she said.

 

She believes students’ instructional plans will be strengthened by the changes to the schedule, both by adding an eighth period and by requiring standards to be met before allowing them an off period.

 

“The changes are being done for the benefit of the students; we are here for the kids,” she said. “We may not be doing what is popular for students, but we are doing what is right for them.”

 

Edwards agrees.

 

“We will continue to do what is right for the students and what will help our students be successful in the future,” he said. “We want AISD students to be competitive and to be leaders of Brazoria County, and these changes are being made in an effort to increase opportunities for our students to be prepared for their futures, whether that leads them to a college, a career or the military.”