Archives for the month of: February, 2014

As former assistant principal at Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri, Louise Losos assumed the role of master scheduler in 2004. Louise Losos created the master schedule implemented in the 2004-2005 academic year.

With only a finite number of hours in a school day, schedulers frequently find themselves challenged by the question of how to effectively divide the available time and fit in required content. The traditional model relies on six to eight classes per day, each led by a different teacher and presenting different material. While this may optimize quantity of instruction, both students and teachers often find that the resultant short periods make in-depth exploration difficult. In addition, the frequency of transitions in this model reduces student focus and creates an assembly-line atmosphere where students lack the opportunity to bond with teachers.

As a result, many contemporary schedule creators have facilitated the introduction of longer class blocks within the school day. This allows for more focused study of a particular content area, which can include more involved, active learning that would be difficult to achieve in a 45-minute period. This model also allows struggling learners to take time away from class for support and lets teachers get to know students’ needs better, which directly supports student success. These longer periods can be introduced via a number of block-scheduling structures, from a team approach to a dual-day schedule that places half of a student’s courses in one day and half in the next.

Education professional Louise Losos served Clayton High School as principal for seven years. During her tenure, Louise Losos was instrumental in helping 90 percent of students pass their Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, with almost 15 percent of senior students receiving national merit recognition.

images (10)Created by the College Board, AP tests evaluate North American high school students’ knowledge of college-level curriculum. AP tests take place in May of each year, and the College Board releases the scores, which can be used for issuing college course credit, in July. Since 2013, the College Board has enabled students to access their AP scores online.

In scoring the tests, the College Board utilizes computers to assess multiple-choice answers, whereas college professors and teachers specialized in the AP program score free responses. These two results are combined and placed on a five-point scale, with a score of five being the greatest qualification and a score of one being the lowest possible score. Many universities and colleges grant placement and offer course credits for students who achieve a score of three or more, but the decision to grant credit or placement is determined by individual institutions.