FAQ – Modified Block Schedule

Modified Block Scheduling at Trinity

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As Trinity moves into strategic position as a center of excellence in Science and Math, we will be moving to a modified block class schedule, effective next academic year (2019-20).  A modified block will allow students to take Math, Science and World Language classes continuously throughout the school year.  Students will still able to take other courses in a traditional block (double period).

  1. How will the change to the modified block schedule affect the International Baccalaureate (IB) and College Prep (CP) classes?

For IB and CP students the modified block will allow us to retain the larger periods of time for students to “dive deep” into some of the coursework they study, while also providing longer periods of extended time for mastery of skills.

With the 4 x 4 schedule, there is too great a time gap that occurs between periods of learning (a class meets 1st session one year, and 2nd session second year, which means 12 months may pass before the subject is studied again).

International Baccalaureate does not recommend the 4 x 4 block schedule, as it is very hard for students to practice and master the amount of material required.  With the change to the schedule, students will have more time with their teachers.

For many students, the pace of the block is detrimental to their learning.  They need time to digest the material studied. A modified block will be a benefit, as they will have consistent periods of time for reflection on topics that build on each other.


  1. Does the 4X4 block scheduling benefit students with attention impairments (ADD and ADHD)?

Actually, students with attention impairments tend to perform better in shorter, briefer periods of learning time. One of the main disadvantages of a block scheduling model —which lengthens the class periods— is the risk of a detrimental effect on students with a shortened attention span. A 4 x 4 block schedule, for this reason, may place higher demands on a student with an attention impairment. Eighty-five minute periods lend themselves to more issues with maintaining focus in the class and fewer opportunities for physical mobility.


  1. Will exam days change? Will students need to manage more than 2 exams per day?

Yes, the organization of examination days will probably change.  The way in which we format our exam schedule is being investigated closely by faculty, and it may require re-formatting our current schedule.  Students will most likely take their exams over the course of a week. 

We will have the option to take final exams before Christmas Break.  This is an option that was not possible with a 4 X 4 schedule.

We encourage parents, guardians, and students with other questions about the modified block schedule to contact the Principal of Trinity High School, Dr. Noreen Powers directly.