Liberty Hill High School may adopt a new bell schedule next school year in which students would attend only four classes a day.

What you need to know

Almost 50% of respondents voted to switch to an A/B block schedule in a district survey of 63 staff members at Liberty Hill High School, LHISD Chief of Schools Travis Motal said at a Nov. 13 board of trustees meeting. Under the new schedule, students would attend four 90-minute classes each day on an alternating basis instead of the eight 45-minute classes students attend currently.

Staff members provided feedback that an A/B schedule would allow for:
  • Fewer transitions each day
  • More time for lessons and homework
  • Easier daily workload
The second most popular choice was an alternative block schedule, which staff members said was a good hybrid option of both traditional and block schedules, Motal said.

The details

The following options were presented to staff:
  • Typical A/B block: four 90-minute classes daily
  • Alternative block: four days per week with four 90-minute classes and one day per week with eight 45-minute classes
  • Hybrid: two 50-minute classes and three 90-minute classes daily
  • Seven period traditional: seven 50-minute periods daily
  • Eight period traditional: eight 50-minute periods daily
What board members are saying

Several board of trustees members expressed their support for switching to an A/B block schedule.

"I think it's more effective. I think that kids can learn deeper and can ask some questions instead of running out the door after 45 minutes and the teacher saying, 'Oh, here's the homework,'" Place 6 board member Kristi Hargrove said. "There's a lot of classes I think that the kids and the teachers would really benefit from having that extended period of time."

Board President Megan Parsons requested that the district garner more input on the potential changes as only 36% of staff members responded to the survey.

The backstory

The bell schedule survey follows an initial survey administered a few weeks ago in which 22 staff members recommended the district implement a block schedule, Motal said. The survey asked staff members what current practices were working well and their ideas for short- and long-term improvements as some teachers were experiencing stress midsemester, he said.

"Teachers were really just feeling the stress of the year on how am I going to meet all of my kids' needs," Motal said.

What’s next?

District officials will now determine how staffing and costs might be impacted by the various schedule options before presenting an update to the board in December, Motal said.

While the potential schedule would eventually apply to Legacy Ranch High School, the new school's schedule may need to mirror Santa Rita Middle School for the first couple of years if the campuses share staff members, he said.