Beginning the 2004-05 school year, McEachern observes an 8 A/B block schedule. Students attend class periods 1,3,5,and 7 on the A day and 2,4,6, and 8 on the B day. This change has allowed many students opportunity to study in greater breadth and has allowed many other students an opportunity to enrich their learning in greater depth. Three initiatives in particular have been deployed to increase academic rigor and support specifically, individual student needs.
First, many students have been offered "guided electives" which ultimately provide double the instructional time in three of the four core areas (Science, Math, and Language Arts). The purpose of the academic elective is to provide particularly needy students academic scaffolding to help build new skills and understanding. The guided elective supports student learning by enhancing student vocabulary within the context of the course and by helping students understand key concepts through the use of graphic organizers and engaging learning activities. Students are then able to "link" new learning acquired during their core course period to key vocabulary and content already previewed with the elective teacher during the guided elective period.
Second, nearly two hundred students have been identified, invited and included in our AVID program. AVID stands for "advancement via individual determination." AVID students are typically students who have exceptional ability but have less than exceptional achievement. Or, they may be students who have exceptional ability but have been placed in less rigorous classes that are not commensurate with their ability. Students involved in this program are provided support through the AVID curriculum, their AVID teacher, and college tutors during the school day. Third, during the 2004-05 school year, McEachern will be developing an application to host an International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme beginning the 2006-07 school year. Given the enrollment of the school, the IB will not be offered as a magnet, but rather as an open elective program of study for interested students.
Due to the level of difficulty, some courses receive extra weight in calculating a student's grade point average (GPA). Additional quality points are calculated into the overall GPA and are not reflected in the numerical averages.
The following accelerated and advanced placement courses are awarded one extra quality point .
AP Eng Literature/Comp
AP US History
AP Music Theory
AP Studio Art
AP French Lang
AP German Lang
AP Spanish Lang
The following one level courses (honors) receive an additional 0.5 quality point.
US History 111
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