North College Hill City school district in Ohio has adopted a new learning approach for the upcoming shool year, having teachers and students only come into school four days a week, while giving them allowing a day to do unsupervised work at home.
School district superintendent Eugene Blalock Jr. told local WCPO 9 Cincinnati he believes this “could be a model that could save the profession of education.”
Board members of the Cincinnati school district reportedly voted unanimously to incorporate the “blended learning” model into their upcoming 2023-2024 school year, recognizing its success when employed during the pandemic.
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This decision makes North College Hill City school district the first district in Ohio to adopt this blended model schedule. It will affect the 1,400 students and 150 teachers that comprise the district.
Other schools in the nation have voted to adopt the four-day school week. Last year, the board members for Independence School District near Kansas City, Missouri, voted six-to-one to adopt a similarly abridged week.
A calendar on the district’s website confirmed that the changes have already been accounted for, showing that each Monday during the school year has been labeled a “Blended Learning Day.”
Superintendent Blalock Jr. told WCPO 9 Cincinnati recently that the move would encourage educators to work for the district and help alleviate the stresses of hardworking staff.
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He said, “Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming rates and the idea of being able to have some time some quality time dedicated time to just get some collaboration some planning is something that is intriguing to the teachers, and it actually has excited and re-ignited my teachers.”
As the local station reported, the model will have teachers and students doing “self-directed work from home” on Monday, “while attending in-person classes Tuesday through Friday.”
Channel nine spoke to third grade teacher Raven Jackson, who supported the idea. “We all worn out – like even the kids are worn out.”
Blalock Jr. seems to be a fan of experimental schooling methods, having promoted ideas of altering how his district operates on posts to social media. A post he shared in November said, “We don’t need more hours in school, we need to do school differently within those hours.”
Blalock has also referred to the district as a “trauma-sensitive school district” in posts on social media.
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The superintendent noted on his district’s website that its mission is to focus on “our students’ social and emotional needs.”
In a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer, he added it’s not about saving money, “it was more about saving teachers and saving the profession and doing something different to help students.”