Edmonton high schools to offer extended school hours starting next year

Nov 27 2019, 3:21 pm

Starting next September, high school students will have the option to start school a little earlier, or end their days a little later.

According to Carrie Rosa with Edmonton Public Schools, starting in the 2020/2021 school year, additional blocks will be offered before or after school.

“Right now typically its a four-block schedule, and next year students will move to a six-block school day, offering two additional blocks of programming, one earlier in the day and one typically what you would deem after school time,” said Rosa in an interview with Daily Hive.

According to Rosa, schools are still in the early stages of engaging with parents, students, and their school communities as a whole about what the changed schedules might look like.

“Some of our high schools around Edmonton public schools already do this, a lot of them offer early morning classes or they offer classes later in the afternoon to meet the demands of their students, so this change will bring some consistency around all of the high schools in our division,” said Rosa.

“It does offer some flexibility for students so they can choose the courses that they want to take and when they want to take them.”

Start times and end times across the district already vary, and Rosa says that will continue under the new six-block model, as schools continue to work out the details.

“We know a lot of our students work after school, volunteer, have family commitments, so the flexibility to take something a little bit earlier in the morning if they choose to is really beneficial, and we know our students are asking for that, and thats why a lot of our high schools are already doing some form of this,” said Rosa.

In terms of staff scheduling, Rosa said the flexibility offered could be beneficial for teachers as well.

“It has no impact on the amount of time each staff member is required to teach; they’ll still be working the same number of hours and this may afford them, like our students a little bit more flexibility in their workday,” said Rosa.

Exact start and end times are still being determined, as schools continue to engage with their school communities.