Schedule changes approved, among others, for 2021-2022 school year

     As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, planning for the next school year has ramped up. The Board of School Trustees met on April 28 in order to make several decisions about the upcoming school year.

     After months of deliberation, district wide school start times have been altered for next year. Elementary schools will begin at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:10 p.m. and Intermediate and Junior High Schools will begin at 9:15 a.m. and finish at 4:00 p.m. High school will begin at 8:30 a.m and let out 3:00 pm. 

     Because of the ongoing pandemic, a virtual option for students who cannot attend in-person school has been created. However, this virtual option looks very different from the model from the 2020-2021 school year. The virtual option for next year will not go through Fishers High School, but rather Indiana Online. Some courses will utilize synchronous instruction, following the zoom format where students are in-class remotely. Other courses will be asynchronous, which will be similar to the classes offered by Indiana Online in the summer. The virtual option will go by each semester, meaning a student can opt in or out at the semester mark. For more information, a webinar is being set up for grades 7-12 on May 28.

     Another decision that was made was the schedule for next year. The 2020-2021 school year was the pioneer of the block schedule for the high schools. The decision was made to continue the use of block schedule in the high schools, while also piloting the block schedule in two of the junior highs, Fall Creek junior high and HSE junior high.  For the high schools, the new schedule also includes a ten minute passing period. 

     Another change to the schedule is the introduction of “targeted instruction.” In the proposed new schedule, TI would take place every other day. The idea is to target “learning loss,” which means giving more time to students who are struggling without pulling them out of class. Some TI periods will be mandatory for all students in the High School to attend, while others will allow for students to do virtual study hall. Other TI periods will include a SEEL lesson as well. 

     Students in grades 9-12 will be able to keep their school-issued laptop over the summer at no charge. The fee was waived in response to the financial toll COVID-19 has taken, as well as to allow students access to their laptops for summer classes.