Dallas High School-“On the Block”
What is Block Scheduling?
As you may have noticed, there is a difference in class schedules when a
student enters Dallas High School from the Middle School. Dallas Middle
School employs a traditional class schedule while the High School operates
under a block or intensified scheduling format. The following information
should provide a fundamental understanding of block scheduling and how it is
utilized at Dallas High School. We encourage all stakeholders to research
and educate themselves on this topic as we continually examine our
educational structure to meet and anticipate the changing needs of our
Block scheduling is defined as where at least part of the daily schedule is
organized into larger periods of time (more than sixty minutes) to allow for
flexibility in providing a diversity of instructional activities. The
format is based on the philosophy of fewer classes each day for longer
periods of time. The classes at Dallas High School are sixty-seven minutes
in length. There are several variations of the block scheduling concept.
Local circumstances guide decisions, and there are almost as many variations
as there are schools that employ the format. The following are examples of
block scheduling variations.
The 5x5 Schedule – (The format employed by Dallas High School) This
variation employs 5 classes per semester with the addition of a
smaller period during the day. Dallas High School uses an “Academic Options”
period to conduct tutorials, testing, remediation, enrichment and various
other activities.This is also the time when assemblies are held. In this
format, students are given an opprotunity to earn 10 academic credits per
The 4x4 Schedule – This variation employs the same format as a 5x5 schedule
with slightly longer class periods.
The A/B or Alternating Schedule – Students take three courses on two
alternating days or six in all for the school year. The fourth period is
available for study, assistance from teachers, or the participation in clubs
and specific extra-curricular activities.
The Dallas School District believes that given this format, teachers are
free to experiment with a variety of learning strategies such as projects,
alternative assessment, cooperative learning and other hands-on and
interactive activities. The schedule also provides more opportunities to
take advantage of community resources such as guest speakers, mini field
trips, and job shadowing. Other advantages include:
· Preparation for five classes each semester instead of six or seven
· The opportunity to re-take failed courses during the same year
· Teachers have more opportunity to prepare and provide individual/small
· Greater communication between student/teacher/parent