Oxford High School gears up for new 5×5 block schedule


George Monroe, staff writer

As the 2022-23 school year is entering its last quarter, discussions and plans have been made for the 2023-24 year. These discussions have led the district and it’s team to a new schedule for next year. After sending out a survey to students and teachers, a 5×5 block schedule has been decided upon. This means that Oxford High School will have 5 classes each semester, with each class being 75 minutes. 

In an Email to staff and students, the high school announced that all state tested and AP courses will now be a full year long, increasing instructional time for those classes. This new schedule also comes with the introduction of a “learning lab” to help students with their work. Teachers circle through the learning lab, helping students with their coursework. Teachers now have 4 classes and one planning period, and a maximum 36 Carnegie units for 4 years. This decision, according to the Email sent out by the high school, was due to feedback from kids and staff. The school states that “Teacher, parent, and student feedback on the current 4×4 schedule led to the revision. Administrators and teachers have spent a great deal of time observing and researching models to help better meet the needs of our classrooms,” Director of Communications Heather Lenard said “75 minutes per class falls within the preferred time frame that was indicated on surveys.”

Before this new schedule was put into place, the district experimented with and researched different master schedules, trying to find the best one for Oxford High School. Oxford researched and visited different schools accross the country, determinding which schedule would best fit the Oxford curriculum, according to Chief Academic Officer Marni Herrington. 

“The school board had concerns and had us review some different master schedules for the pros and cons to see which would best fit for our high school. We researched different types of master schedules across the country. We took all the models and ranked them as far as what they would provide to our students. After reviewing all the types of master schedules, the 5×5 was the one that prioritized the most components for us,” Herrington said.

According to Herrington, the survey laid out the foundation for what the school was setting out to do for their schedule. They wanted feedback to gurantee that their decisions would be in everyone’s best interest.

“Students, parents, and staff really thought that 4-5 classes was ideal for a student at a time. Students and parents like having a fresh start in January. The concern was if we were utilizing class time, and then what is the appropriate amount of time to teach content,” Herrington said.

Since this schedule was made to fit students, parents, and teachers wants and needs, reactions from many around the school have been positive, including rising junior Harper Gray’s.

“I said I would love to do a 75 minute block, which would mean a five block schedule.

I was really excited. It thought it meant more classes, credits, and opportunities,” Gray said.

But although Gray sees benefits and is looking forward to this schedule, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems. Many students, including Gray, have voiced their discontent with certain schedule decisions the school has made, including making all core and AP classes a full school year long.

“Perspective has changed a bit since AP classes are year long. I understand it, but that means I can have a max of 4 AP classes since I have a sport. At the moment it is very frustrating and limits college opportunities. Some APs don’t have to be year round,” Gray said.

OHS councelors will soon scheudle appointments to select courses within the next few weeks. Although Oxford’s decision on a 5×5 schedule is final, there is still modification in process to enhance this schedule and address some issues. More questions and concerns about next year will arise, and the district is ready for that. This is still a work in progress, making sure everyone’s needs are met, according to Herrington.

“We are going through a process to make sure the schedule is built correctly and that we build a schedule according to the requests that students have in order to best alleviate any possible conflicts that happen,” Herrington said.