Dean of Hinds supports block schedules

Published 12:30 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vicksburg Warren School District’s scheduling system is a deterrent for students wanting to take vocational training classes, the dean of Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg Campus said Thursday.

Under the current scheduling system students attend seven 50-minute class periods each day, leaving little time for them to ride a bus to Hinds Community College’s campus on Mississippi 27, have instruction and return within the time frame, Hilton Dyar told Port City Kiwanis.

“You have to have two free periods a day to come to our center. If you’re an athlete or participating in any extracurricular activities, you can’t come to our center,” said Dyar, who began his educational career teaching vocational classes.

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Still, the Vicksburg Campus has a higher percentage of students taking vocational and technical classes than any of Hinds other campuses, he said.

Vocational training is important because only about 25 percent of jobs require a college degree, he said. Fewer of today’s jobs, however, require manual labor, and the vast majority requires some sort of technical training, he said.

Before former Superintendent Elizabeth Swinford resigned last summer, the school district considered changing scheduling from the traditional seven-period schedule

In March 2013, the school board approved changing to four 100-minute class periods each day but later tabled the idea citing that it was too close to the beginning of the school year to implement the change.

Under block scheduling the first period would begin at 7:15 a.m. and end at 8:50. The school day would end at 2:35 p.m.