A majority of parents say they are satisfied with the educational experience their children receive at Davis County School District high schools.
A new study about scheduling options at the high schools shows that about 70 percent of the parents surveyed are satisfied with their children's educational experience at the five schools that have eight-period block schedules. Some 82 percent of parents of students at Woods Cross High School, where a seven-period day is used, said they were satisfied.Of the parents whose children attend eight-period block schedules, parents of Viewmont High School students said they were the most satisfied, followed by Davis, Bountiful, and Clearfield parents. Layton High School parents were the least satisfied. Sixty-two percent voiced support, 20 percent were undecided and 17 percent disapproved.
Fred Brown, who conducted the survey for the district, said that along with the general support for high schools, most parents support the current scheduling systems.
"They are generally supportive of the current system." Brown said. "That gives credibility to the fact that what they expect out of education they are getting and are satisfied with it."
Brown said the committee that prepared the report found that both the eight-period block system and seven-period system work equally well in different settings.
"It depends on the situation. For some schools an eight-period block would mean better building utilization," Brown said.
Since the district started eight-period block schedules, during which students attend a 90-minute class every other day, enrollment has increased in advanced placement, foreign language, art and vocational classes. There is better utilization of school buildings and students have more time to do homework, the study found.
However, the study found teachers don't always have enough time to adequately cover the curriculum, poor students are more often bored and classes are large. For example, 60 percent of the teachers surveyed said that the eight-block period poses problems to below-average students.
When students attend seven periods each day there is more student-teacher contact, but the schedule results in a reduction of the number of optional classes. The 50-minute periods don't leave enough time for laboratory, shop and physical education classes, the study says.
Of note, 70 percent of the teachers on the seven-period schedule said they were very effective under that schedule, while only 41 percent of the teachers on the eight-period block schedule responded similarly.