Pros and Cons


Benefits of the Trimester

  • Lower Student-to-Teacher Ratio: In a traditional eight period day, a usual teaching load is six periods. With twenty-five students per period, leaving a teacher to see 150 students daily. In the trimester model, a full teaching load would be four of the five periods. This would lead to a maximum daily number of 100 students. This reduction will allow teachers to give higher quality feedback and more challenging assignments.

  • Allows Greater Diversity in Teaching Strategies: Moving from forty-five to sixty-five minutes per period will allow our teachers to utilize a greater variety of instructional strategies. Our teachers will be able to move away from the traditional model of lecture-driven instruction to a focus that increases critical thinking and the ability to work collaboratively.

  • Allows Students to Focus on Fewer Subjects at Any Given Time: From a student's perspective, each trimester will see students taking five courses instead of the current seven. This will allow for a sharper focus during each trimester.

  • Creates More Freedom with Electives: In a traditional model of an eight period day, a student will take seven classes each semester. Over the course of four years, this amounts to fifty-six classes. This model of five academic classes over three trimesters for four years equates to sixty classes.


Drawbacks

  • Scheduling Issues with Foreign Language and Math: If not deliberately linked together in a 1-2 or 2-3 format, the possibility of taking the language or math course with a 12-week gap is possible. The likelihood of this happening needs to be explored more deeply.

  • May Create a Difficult Adjustment/Transition for Transfer Students: A potential drawback of this model is the incompatibility of our schedule with neighboring schools. This can potentially make it more difficult to match schedules for students who transfer in and out.

  • Complicates Part-Time Staff and Schedules: A small group of part-time instructors currently teach only half days. Because the classes would be taught at different times on various days, these part-time teachers would be forced to adjust their schedules around the needs of the school. This is a unique situation created by a rotating schedule.