As you know, we have been planning for a transition to a 5-period trimester schedule in our high schools. Our plan has been to start the new schedule in September 2020.
As high school principals and district leaders met earlier this month for a status check on implementation, it became clear that we need more time to implement this change well. With so many other initiatives and transitions this year, the system simply does not have the capacity to complete the intensive planning that is necessary.
Based on the feedback of those responsible for implementing the change, I have decided to postpone the 5-Tri transition for now.
Over the next few months, the 5-Tri Steering Team, which includes our high school principals, will take a hard look at our options. With their input, I will decide by February whether we will proceed with the 5-Tri transition in fall 2021.
The work that has already been done in preparation for 5-Tri is still important and valuable. It will guide us as we continue to develop a high school academic program that ensures students meet the state’s more demanding graduation requirements.
The reality is that the students in front of us today will have to earn more credits in specific subject areas. This means all students will have fewer electives and less flexibility in their schedules, and that students who are not on track to graduate will need additional credit-earning opportunities.
We must now turn our immediate attention to developing supports to ensure that every student gets what they need to graduate prepared for the future they choose. This is our obligation, no matter what high school schedule we have.
It is important, as your superintendent, that I listen carefully and make course corrections when needed rather than forge ahead with a plan that the system is not fully ready to implement. I am grateful for all of the work so many of you have put into this transition, and please know that it will inform whatever path forward we choose.
As always, I am proud to lead and serve alongside each of you and am confident that together we will continue to improve as we work to deliver on our promise to know every student by name, strength and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Highline Public Schools