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Thank you to all who answered our questions.  Here are almost all of the
responses.  My apologies to those I did not print.

  *We are a school of about 450 students in grades 10-12.  This is
our second year using block scheduling.  Our school uses the
alternate days.  The students have 4 different classes each day.  A
total of 8 classes.  Last year we didn't have study halls.  As a
result, driver's ed. classes were sent to me when the others were
driving.  If they missed a bus when they were going to bowling or
swimming class, they were also sent here.  I didn't like that.
Enough teachers complained with me and they had study halls again
this year.  We do not have an activity period.  This year our lunch
was cut from 55 min. to 40 min. so that we could show Channel l. We
had been showing it before school in the morning, but Channel l
wouldn't let us do that anymore.
  I am the full time library media specialist.  I have an aide which
helps me half the day.  Our library is used more for research papers.
 We have not had as much research as before.  Teachers are always
afraid that they will not cover as much material.  Some classes that
have never done reports now do them.  Classes such as agriculture,
art, swimming, aerobics and weight-lifting do reports using the

 *We have a rotating schedule which was a bummer to learn but we like it
now.  Every day is a different order A most days but B order for assembly or
home room.  we have 1,300 boys in our private school and the library is
crowded before school, during lunch and after school.  Teachers sign up to
use different areas of the library where I

*I am in a small (700) 7-12 school.  Our high school went to 4 x 4 block
scheduling this year.  There is 1 full-time librarian (me) and 1 full-time
assistant.  We have one 45 minute lunch period for all of the high school.
We have a county-wide AV technician who works on broken equipment.

*I schedule the high school in whole or half periods.  The teachers let me know
how much time they need when they see me to schedule.  I insist that teachers
talk to me about scheduling and don't just let them sign up on their own.
That eliminates most of the "time-killing" activities.  I have the media
center divided into two separate seating areas so it is possible to
accommodate 2 classes at one time provided they are not doing the same types
of activities and need the same resources.

Every classroom has a TV and we have 5 VCRs that circulate.  the VCRs are
often all echeck out - but no more so than last year on a traditional

We have seen an increase in use of the media center, but I can't contribute it
all to block scheduling.  This is my second year here and  I have worked very
hard to generate interest in using the media center and improve the collection
so that it is usable (neither one was a strong point of my predecesor).  We
also had some staff members (I was one) who went to a work shop given by Apple
Computers based on their ACOT research.  This workshop was on developing
"Units of Practice" using technology.  This is cooperative learning and more.
Those teachers have been doing more research this year as they have their
students do their Units.

The media center is open during lunch to any student who wants to come.  There
are a few regulars who use the media center to do homework or read.  I expect
as the weather get colder, we'll have more traffic during lunch.  I always
reserve the right to ask anyone to leave who is being disruptive - but so far
no problems.  During class time students must come with a note from a teacher
and sign-in to the log book.  If teachers need to send small groups they
usually ask me first to be sure there is room and then those students sign in
and out on the log sheet.

My assistant usually stays in the media center during lunch and I eat with the
high school.  If, however, I'm teaching junior high classes who have a
completely different schedule and lunch, then she eats high school lunch and I
eat with the grade I'm teaching.

Hope some of this helps you.  I would call our transition to block scheduling
a success.  The key is planning and realizing that you (teachers) must have a
variety of teaching methods available and use them.

Let me know if there is anything else I can tell you.  Hope all goes well.

*I will soon be doing some research similar to yours on the effect of
block scheduling on the high school library,so would you send me the
results of your survey, if possible?
We've had a block schedule (4x4) for two years now. My school has about
700 students and about 50 teachers.  I'm the only librarian and I have a
part-time assistant.  I have had to turn classes away--tried having two
classes at once, and it was murder!  We have two lunch periods, so we
take turns when we can.  (We often have to eat hurriedly in here.)  We
have no study periods and no free periods.  We have library science
students every period.  Our classes have increased somewhat, and our
circulation has increased.  Some classes come for only part of the
period.  Video use has increased greatly, since the teachers need more
things to do to vary their instruction.  They also want us to order more
videos, but the principal has nixed that idea.
We don't keep the library open any longer than we did before. One problem
has been getting the teachers to plan their library time to avoid
conflicts with other teachers. Coming in on Monday morning to schedule a
week of research for term papers does not usually work!  I asked the
English teachers to work out a schedule for term papers back in the
summer, and they wouldn't.
Anyway, I will send you a copy of my survey when I get it ready.  It will
be later this semester, hopefully.  It's for a master's course I'm taking
at East Carolina University.

*We started the block schedule a little over a year ago and I just love it!
It actually takes less time for the students to do term papers because
there is less interruption.  The teachers now reserve one week instead of
two and usually finish ahead of that.

If we had 30 minutes for lunch our students would all be in trouble with
that much free time.  We have two lunch wates of approx. 30 minutes

We have approx. 1300 students.

Have not added staff, but they have gained more preparations.

We do not have a tech person really.  Overheads, vcr's and tv'w are about
all we use and we have little problem with those items.  Most of the
teacher's that use these items keep them in their rooms.

Number of student's at one time has not increased that I am aware.  But
yes, we have occassionally had to turn some away.  They will not let the
technology students stay in their room without a sub...so the come to the
library with a sub.

Depends on what the teacher wants, but usually when they reserve the
library it is for a full 96 minutes.

The library is not open longer hours.

* West Side Area Vocational-Technical School is a
comprehensive high school.  This means that we have our students
all day - they attend here for both their vocational area and their
academics.  Along with reducing to a four period day we are on a
week about schedule with 9/10 grade in shop while the 11/12 are in
academics and then the opposite.  Right now our enrollment is at
close to 600 and I am a one woman operation (sometimes I feel not a
very good one.)
        I do not have any volunteers working in the library.  As
far as AV goes I was able, about 5 years ago to turn it over to our
audio-visual communication shop.  Prior to this I handled all the
AV, Channel One, Library, Library classes, computer lab in the
library, etc.  At this point they handle everything concerned with
AV with the exception of films and videos which come in weekly from
our intermediate unit.
        What I have suggested to my teachers is that they come to
the library for half of the 83 minute period.  That way they break
up their period and can come for 2 or 3 half periods if needed.  We
have no study halls for the academic students.  Last year I was a
study hall proctor for most of the day and it seriously cut into my
library business - no room,etc.
        Circulation has increased since some teachers in the
English department are doing 10min. of silent reading in their
classes (this is working well fro them.)
        We still have four lunches - 2 academic and 2 vocational.
They are 30 minutes apiece.  The library is open but unstaffed
during my lunch duty and lunch.  It is scary but I don't have a
choice. There are two vocational aides who work out of the library
so sometimes they are around and sometimes they are not.  I also
have itinerant speech, vision, hearing, spec. ed. who use the
library so I can't lock the door and leave.  The teachers know
where I am so so far it hasn't been a problem.
        Hope this helps and if I have forgotten something let me know.

*Those who disliked it most were the faculty.  There were some problems
involved with them that were discovered *after* the plan was begun.  Some
teachers ended up with no planning periods one day, and long planning
times on a successive day.  The other problem was lunch.  We were a large
school and had three lunch shifts for students.  Also blocked into the
lunch period was the fifth-period class which was split around lunch.
Those teachers who had fifth-period planning actually received longer
planning times than other teachers.

As the school media specialist, I thought that the new 100-minute classes
would be too long for students to work on library assignments, and felt
behavior may be a problem.  I was absolutely wrong.  Example, previously
if a teacher brought a class to the library for 3 days (50 min. class),
sometimes the last 15 minutes were wasted in a sense where some finished
work too early.  After the change, the teacher only needed to bring them
in once and *all* time was used fully, and students seemed to have no
problem with the length of time.  After a year I felt the block
scheduling was great for our school; however some of the issues with the
fifth period seemed to have no resoution.  1st, 3rd, 7th periods met on
even numbered days; 2nd, 4th, 6th met on odd numbered days.  Fifth period
met every day.  The even and odd worked out by the end of the year
equally although due to holidays, etc. there were days where the same
classes met consecutively.  At the end of the lst semester, days were
switched--1st, 3rd, 6th met on odd-numbered days not even and vice versa.

Hope this helps.  I don't have infor. on improved test scores, etc.

Could you post a hit on this?  We also are considering 4x4 and I would be
very interested.  We currently have block (90min) twice a week. On these
days the library is always busy - classes are often scheduled weeks in
advance to take advantage of this time.  I love it.  The whole pace of the
school slows.  In the library students have adequate time to understand the
lesson, do the required research, listen to instructions from me and/or
teacher, assimilate the information/research they have done, and still check
out materials.  They use the time fully and I have time to help everyone
without feeling like a whirling dervish. Hope this helps.

*We are a small rural school in Illinois.  Prek-12.  Our 6-12 section (300
students) with a faculty of about 45 for the 6-12
students.  I am the full-time MLS librarian and I staff the High School
library.  I have a full-time clerk who staffs the grade
school room (prk-5) and I go down there Thursday mornings to try and keep
up with their needs.

We only added 2 part-time staff, a H.S. art instructor and a second High
school Agriculture Teacher.  The first year we had different class-breaks
for the Jr.
High and the High School with the homeroom of 40 minutes in the middle of
the day.  This year all 6-12 classes on the same
schedule, 5 minutes passing time, 80 minute classes, 4x4 with homeroom at
the end of the day from 2:30 to 3:00.  It is hard to
understand at first glance, but we just don't have space or faculty
to do 8block right! I was assigned a group of 30 6th graders on "B" day
and I have had to close the library to others so I can concentrate on
supervising their discipline.  I even had another teacher cover
the homeroom while I went SCOURING the school for another room thinking I
could take the 6th graders out and let others' use
the library as it should be used.  THERE WAS NOT AN EMPTY ROOM ANYWHERE
prek-12!! I have decided on my own to eat lunch alone in the
library to allow students to access the library during their noontime. We
have also opened the library on Tuesdays from 6:30-8 for community &
students this year.  We have no public library service.
How has my job changed???   I am now a SCHEDULER!!   I get all the
teachers on my
library calendar...even the vocational
department (job research) and the math department (famous mathematicians,
theories) and I have a first-scheduled-first serviced
policy.  If anyone else wants to send more than 5 students, they clear it
with the person signed up.  Our facility is a 50 x 70
room added on in 1994.  It also helps the English department that they can
schedule into the separate computer lab of 40 stations
and access our Follett Circ.+ card catalog and Ebsco EMAS fulltext Elite
magazine index.

*Pat, we have been on block scheduling for the last four years.  We are one a
7 period day.  On Mondays each class meets.  On Tuesday and Thursday all odd
numbered classes meet and Wed. and Fri. all even numbered meet.  Seventh
period meets each day.  We are considering going to the 4x4 schedule.  We
have 1250 students, two full time media specialists, and one full time
paraprofessional, about 80 teachers.  Block scheduling definitely affects
the media center, but to the positive I would say.  When we opened this
school five years ago it was a middle and high combined, 6-9.  Mostly the
middle school teachers used the media center.  I have been the one constant
staff member in the m.c. and I have worked to really get teachers and
students to use the media center.  Some days I feel I have done too good a
job!  We usually have at least two classes per period, sometimes three and
sometimes teachers are asking other teachers to cancel so that they can
bring their classes.  We also use our conference room for instruction and
for overspill and for staff development.  Many days I feel I just spin in
the middle of the room asking questions, but our teachers know where the
media center is and what we have and they know to ask us if they need just
about anything.

Our staff has had the same number every year.  We have a person who is there
two days a week for technology but doesn't come under the media center
staffing.  People still come to us for help and problems.  A-V maintenance
is sent out and is under contract by the county, but we handle paperwork and

We try to never turn people away but we put up with no socializing and
foolishness.  If we have any our teachers complain to us and each other.  We
try alternate things when needed.  If a teacher comes and checks the
schedule and there already two classes, we offer to send resources to the
classroom, put students in the conference room or whatever we can think of.
You do need to know we have a networked building, computers in each
classroom, 7 CDRom databases on the network, 10 student look-up stations in
the m.c. and three for administrative tasks, which we often allow students
to use.  We also have some individual stations for Internet and word
processing or check out to teachers to use in their classrooms.

We only take study hall students who need to work that day and have a pass
from an academic teacher.  We have at least 300 study hall students in the
building this semester.  During lunch, we require passes so we can have some
control, but if a student comes in, gets to work or sits and reads we say
nothing.  I know most of the students and their behavior by now and that

Our circulation has increased this year due to our push for students to read
more and some teachers who are really working on that this year.

The use of the period is up to the teacher but some spend time in class
preparing students and then they come in half way into the period and get
much more accomplished.  If we need to give them a lesson we love having the
time to make a presentation and then have the students use what we have
shown them.

Teachers who may have used the library to fill up time are usually
approached by me with a suggestion about planning and focus for their
students or other teachers say something because they want to get their
students in.  Teachers resent unruly students because of the affect it has
on their classes.  Study hall students have certain places they sit so they
can't mingle with classes.  WE are open from 7:45 till 4:30 each day and the
staff has staggered hours.  Some days, if many projects are due, and I don't
have anything else to do, I keep the m.c. open and do the administrative
tasks I need to do while students work.  They are extremely appreciative of

Yes, my job is different.  Technology certainly has made sure of that, but I
also know that I am never bored or without some challenge.  That is not only
every day but about every minute.  We spend a great deal of time helping
individual students and though that seems least efficient, as I learn more
about the need for persolization, I think it is extremely important.  I know
some students and their problems and homelife very, very well and often we
have students tell us how much they appreciate all that we do.  That usually
makes all of the confusion worth it!

I know this very long, but my principal, who seemed to not know much about
our jobs five years ago, has even come to me asking for positives and
negatives in the media center because of block scheduling.  I think much
less time is wasted and I see students really get involved in their research
and not feel pressured to grab a book and start taking notes.  Those with
time usually try to find more resources than the required amount and
occasionally it becomes a game.

pat bender
mount saint joseph academy
120 w. wissahickon ave.
flourtown, pa 19031
FAX: 215-233-9126

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