Article about intense high schools, less being more.

<p>I picked this up off the hs listserv.</p>

<p>For a bit of trivia, I went to New Trier's arch-rival for three years.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>What do you think their stats for anorexia and depression would have to be to prompt this kind of radical shift?</p>

<p>Scary thought that.</p>

<p>wow nine periods? Is this with or without before/after school classes?
Our state only will pay for 5 periods- and that is what the district expects high schools to offer. Many high schools do try and offer 6 but that means the budget has to be cut somewhere else & parent groups often contribute a substasile amount of money to do so.</p>

<p>Our district only expects seniors to have 19 credits for graduation ( 1/2 credit per semester) however they "believe" in academic excellence and reducing * disproportionality* is their top concern.
Well, they try and believe it anyway</p>

<p>I read a similar article in the Chicago Tribune. I attend a high school very close to New Trier and lots of kids here do the same thing (take orchestra instead of lunch, or AP sciences taking 1.5 periods). For me, school starts at 7:05 for Early Bird AP Biology, and my lunch period is halved because I'm in AP Physics C. Most teachers here are very aware of the half period lunch problem and let us eat in class. I think most of the New Trier kids also manage some how, by getting lunch during passing periods and such. Instead of instating a mandatory lunch period, I suggest removing the 4 year gym requirement that the state of Illinois requires.</p>

<p>Btw, TheDad, what school did you attend?</p>

<p>wow, that article was interesting. I have never heard of a non-mandatory lunch. At my HS we are required to take about 30 min lunch, however we have 8 classes (A -B schedule)( 4 in one day, which means we have the class every other day - kinda confusing some days). The classes
I agree with athlonmj. are about 1 hr 30 min. long</p>

<p>We used to have 9, 43 minute periods in my high school. I never took lunch, but it was ok - teachers would let us eat in class. I really feel for the girl who would have to drop orchestra, that's a shame. In my high school you needed parental permission to skip lunch - maybe that would be a good option for new trier.</p>

<p>My daughter's school has a 6 period day with a half hour lunch thrown in somewhere. Last semester she was taking 8 academic credits (which included an early bird class at 6:55 a.m. and afterschool sessions for another). Most students have 4 or 5 academic classes and P.E. or a study hall. But for those going on to college, it is difficult to fit in everything they need if they also are interested in art, music, etc.--thus the longer day.</p>

<p>Thankfully, she is down to 7 classes in her 6 hour day this semester--its a piece of cake in comparison.</p>

<p>Our high school is definitely not a high pressure one like New Trier, but many students, especially those involved in music do not have a lunch period. We have 8 periods and a standard schedule is 5 academic classes, an elective, plus Phys Ed, leaving one period for lunch. Students who want to take an additional class (often band or chorus, but it could be anything) are allowed to do so, if it fits into their schedule. Teachers will allow these students to eat in class. My daughter did this throughout high school, as she is committed to both band and art, and I am glad she had this option and did not have to to choose between them. On the other hand, my son, who was not involved with music, always had a lunch period. In his case, I was glad he had the break for lunch as he was a three-season athlete, with a very long practice after school each day, so it was good he at least had that lunch period break during the day.</p>

<p>In my school we have 9 full 42 minute periods. Lunch is one of those periods. I guess our day is kind of long.. we start at 7:45 and have class until 2:35. It seems to work OK, but I do have more classes than friends at other schools. We have 5 academic classes, 2 electives, 1 lunch, and 1 gym period.</p>

<p>Athlon, I went to Evanston Township (ETHS) grades 9-11. They had a really weird modular scheduling...some classes would be 5 periods, others could be 2...there were something like 15 periods in a day. </p>

<p>D's hs has six periods plus an optional A.M. period before 1st period. Periods are something like 53 minutes long; 1st period starts at 8:20, 6th period lets out at 3:16pm. AM starts at like 7:12. (Passing periods take up a few minutes between classes.) Calif has only two years of PE and D got a waiver for the second based on ballet.</p>

<p>My D attended a public performing arts H.S. that had a 10 period day. One of the 10 periods was lunch, which was optional. During my D's sophomore year she had no lunch break. Teachers allowed students who got no break for lunch to eat in class. Most students finished school after 9 periods. The 10th period was optional for most students. One major exception was that dance majors who wished to be part of the performing dance ensemble had to schedule dance class during 7th and 8th periods and dance ensemble during 9th and 10th periods. </p>

<p>The H.S. students also had the option of not coming to school for 1st period if they had no class scheduled. (The school housed grades 4 through 12; only the H.S. kids had a 10 period day.) Some students managed to schedule no classes during both 1st and 2nd periods, but they were expected to show up for a 2nd period study hall because attendance was taken at that time. Some study hall teachers looked the other way and allowed students who had no 1st period class to come into study hall at the end of 2nd period just before they took attendance.</p>

<p>The reason the school had 10 periods was to allow the students to get in both their academic classes and still have time to take classes in their arts major. Other public schools in the district have a more traditional 6 period day.</p>


<p>Evanston is a nice school. I've been there a couple times for various competitions and the place is HUGE. It's so easy to get lost in that school. The again, its claim to fame is being the school in Mean Girls. Anyways, I'm from Libertyville, so 'bout a half hour north of your alma mater.</p>

<p>Dancersmom, my daughter is at a public arts high school, but they get in their full academics using block scheduling. They take 5 academic courses, all during morning hours - 8 am to noon - and each meets 3 times a week. (It works out because the days for each period is different - one might meet M, W, F, another M, T, Thu. ) Everyone has lunch at the same time; arts are in the afternoon. The arts courses are longer than the other periods, and meet every day; the length of the classes vary somewhat depending on the art. It all works out o.k. I think most schools around here have 6 periods.</p>

<p>TheDad, offtopic but my grandmother grew up in Evanston and when we went back with S for a college visit in October (to UChicago) we ventured out to Evanston in our rental car to see her old home, still standing. The couple who lived there invited us in to look around and was very kind when we asked to take photos for my 88-year-old grandmother. In fact, every person we met in Chicago, including the airport screeners, was impressively nice. Must have been a great place to spend your youth! And those trees!</p>

<p>Our HS is exactly like studyguy's. Nine periods, starts at 7:45, ends at 2:35. S had five academics, two electives, gym and lunch. But lunch got bumped once or twice a week for labs, and half bumped once a week for music lesson. We were actually glad when they expanded to nine his soph year, so he could fit in band and the computer program, instead of having to choose. (or do early morning gym, yucch).</p>

<p>Our school is nothing like this. I think we are on the "less is more" track - lunch and multiple free periods are typical. </p>

<p>I wonder when these fast-charging students find time to have discussions with each other or study together. I prefer the less organized approach where students have time to bounce ideas off of one another, challenge on another, explore viewpoints and just hang out with each other. </p>

<p>It's nice to see that this problem is getting some attention.</p>

<p>I know someone whose son was a top student at New Trier high school last year. He got several admissions offers from HYPS and M&T at UPenn. He is now at Stanford. Time will tell if the hard-charging approach was good for him, it certainly has propelled him forward faster than anyone I know. </p>

<p>I know for sure my son wouldn't thrive in the intense competition....yet my gut feeling is, my son is good, has a good brain in his head and will do well in life, whatever it is he wants to do.</p>

<p>Do we parents put too much emphasis into getting into the right colleges? My gut feeling is, we do.</p>

<p>I also think that by telling our kids it is "HYPS or bust" or "Penn or bust"
or "whatever-dream-school or bust" we are sending a message that the world is a meritrocracy in every possible way and the only way to do it is to ruthlessly polish one's resume. The message itself is extremely flawed in my opinion; life does not work that way. I read an article once in 2000 (NY Times magazine). The article contained predictions from top thinkers of our time about the new century. Many were saying that this idea of meritrocracy is going to go bust in the US and will be invalid in the next few decades anyway. The way things were in the 19th century might take hold then.... the new robber barons making all the money, the rest of us clueless people left in the cold. Working on Wall Street for the last decade, I see that all the time already.</p>

<p>Other posters have brought up what happens at our school (8 period day) - art and music are the areas where kids usually have to compromise. If a student takes both they cannot have lunch. A few choose to do this (with parental permission). I think many students would be unhappy with taking just the required courses - they are numerous and leave no room for choice. The sad thing, to me, is that courses in the arts are for many a release from strict academic activity. You engage your brain and body in different ways. </p>

<p>It's certainly a valid discussion, but I almost see it ending in mandatory 'relaxation' classes. It doesn't change the system of intense competition for seats at top colleges, so how can we expect individual kids to opt out? A handful might. I guess I support a system that always allows for individual options, like the parental permission cited by another poster.</p>

<p>my daughters school is in session for just about same amount of time but fewer classes- i believe classes ( non block days) are 55 min long with 5 min passing-
42 min as posted above seems very short particulary as it always takes a few minutes to get settled upone beginning and when class is ending students are watching the clock ( i knew I did anyway)</p>

<p>The kids with a full academic load get it in by taking orchestra or band( for some reason this gets them waivers for PE/Occ ed) or by doing school sports like my daughter.</p>