Gateway Gazette

Flexible and Personalized Learning at Oilfields High School

This year, Oilfields High School joined Alberta Education’s Moving Forward with High School Redesign (MFWHSR) project. To date, 164 high schools from across the province are currently part of this project. This represents about 70% of high school aged students in Alberta. The primary purpose of this provincial initiative is to explore and institute changes to processes and practices within the province’s high schools in the following areas:

• Mastery Learning
• Rigourous and Relevant Curriculum
• Personalization
• Flexible Learning Environments
• Meaningful Relationships
• Home and Community Involvement
• Assessment
• Safe, Caring and Welcoming
• Educator roles and Professional Development

If you would like to learn more about the Moving Forward with High School Redesign project, the following link will provide you with additional information from Alberta Education.

Moving into the second year of the project, Oilfields will be focusing on Personalization and Flexible Learning Environments. To facilitate this, we will be implementing an alternative bell schedule to help promote a personalized and flexible learning environment. Specifically, the bell schedule will provide high school students the opportunity to develop independence as a student through a “flex block”.

The school day will be divided into five equal 73 minute periods. Every high school student will be scheduled for 4 of the 5 periods, leaving one period as their “flex block”.

Period
Semester 1
Semester 2
1 (8:45 – 9:58)
Science 10
Social 10
2 (10:08 – 11:21)
English 10
Math 10
3 (11:31 – 12:44)
Flex
Phys. Ed 10
4 (12:54 – 2:07)
Option
Flex
5 (2:17 – 3:30)
Option
Option

The high school flex block will give every high school student 73 minutes each day to eat their lunch, work on school work, seek extra help from teachers, or whatever the student needs to accomplish. In short, the flex block will be discretionary time to give high school students an opportunity to develop and demonstrate independence for their learning.

For junior high students, the schedule will look a little bit different. Junior high students will have the same basic schedule of five periods a day. The difference is one of the periods will be cut in half to create a homeroom period and a defined lunch. While junior high students will have a defined lunch, the actual lunch period will be spread over a few timeslots to give students a staggered lunch (not all students will be having lunch at the same time). The homeroom period will replace the leadership class presently offered at Oilfields.

Period

Day 1

Day 2

1 (8:45 – 9:58)

Option 1

Option 2

2 (10:08 – 11:21)

Phys. Ed.

DRILLER Block

(Literacy/Numeracy/Competency)

3 (11:31 – 12:44)

Homeroom/Lunch

Homeroom/Lunch

4 (12:54 – 2:07)

Math

Science

5 (2:17 – 3:30)

Humanities

Humanities

Another change to the junior high schedule is the addition of a “DRILLER Block” which will occur every other day. The purpose of the DRILLER Block is to provide dedicated time within the day to facilitate students’ academic success. This time will focus on three main areas: literacy, numeracy, and cross-curricular competencies (click here to learn more about cross-curricular competencies). During this time, students will be receiving direct instruction around developing literacy, numeracy, and competency. In addition, they will have the opportunity for extra time and support to complete work in their academic classes. In short, during DRILLER Block, students will be developing the skills and tools to effectively use their Flex block when they get to high school.

The above is just a brief overview of the changes to the timetable. In summary, the most significant changes to next year is high school students will not have a defined lunch break; instead they will be given a 73 minute block of time to have lunch and focus on their studies. Junior high students will have a defined lunch that is staggered so not all junior high students are having lunch at the same time. Junior high students will also have a dedicated block in their schedule to develop literacy, numeracy, and competency skills as well as focusing on their studies.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply