Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) will see changes to its timetable, as the school will follow in the footsteps of Prince Rupert Middle School (PRMS) with a collaboration time pilot project.
Starting in September, high school teachers will meet twice a month to bounce ideas off each other and work on cross-circular projects. While the collaboration time won’t mean any lost instructional minutes, students will be able to sleep in a little longer every other Wednesday.
PRMS saw success with its collaboration pilot project this past school year, with teachers coming together for the last hour of class time every Wednesday.
Feedback from staff was positive, with a number of cross-circular and co-teaching activities taking place throughout the past school year. During collaboration time students were not allowed to leave early, but could catch up on school work or participate in a number of activities within the school.
“We chose mornings because we knew that mornings are not a good time for teenagers,” said Sandy Pond, principal of Charles Hays, who mentioned the project is teacher-driven.
Teachers will meet outside of instructional time, which will be done by increasing class time from 77 minutes to 80 starting in September. Time is being added by starting the school day five minutes earlier and running three minutes later, so classes can start at 10:25 a.m. on collaboration Wednesday, with shortened classes throughout the day.
Another change to the timetable will see the first class of the morning and afternoon switch time slots with the class following them every other day. Pond said it is being done to see if there’s a difference in students’ achievement.
Furthermore, classes in the math department will also be structured differently.
“Our math teachers have wanted to try a flipped model for quite sometime which means that they provide videos and resources for students to look at at home, and then the practice happens in the classroom. Then you’re not teaching and asking the students to practice at home without any support,” said Carla Rourke, vice-principal of CHSS.
All three changes will be tested over a one-year trial.