What is Blues Block?
This year, we have created a Blues Block on Wednesdays after the four regular compressed blocks. Blues Block runs from 12:55pm - 1:55pm. School bus pick-up will be at 2:00pm on Wednesdays, half an hour earlier than the rest of the week.
Is Blues Block a new thing?
Not really. Paul Kane has been incorporating 'flex time' in student programming for years, in most recent years as optional 'Student Support Time'. We believe that having a scheduled full hour-long block once per week will be much more effective.
What is the purpose of Blues Block?
To better meet the needs of our students and give them access to a wide variety of supports and learning opportunities. A few examples of what students can expect to find offered during Blues Block are:
- Targeted learning seminars, for example: how to factor polynomials, how to write a strong thesis statement, or how to conduct experiments following the scientific method.
- Walk-in support in core subject areas, regardless of who the student's teacher is.
- Missed assessment make-ups.
- Physical activity and wellness sessions.
- CTS module catch-up.
- High interest area learning, such as film studies, computers, logic challenges, art projects, etc.
- Quiet study/homework area.
- Life skills sessions: how to manage stress, apply for a job, etc.
How do students know where to go for Blues Block?
Every department has been tasked with providing a monthly schedule. These will be posted in various places: on Google Classrooms, hard-copy posters hanging in classrooms, through QR codes, and on TV monitors. Teachers will also be talking about Blues Block with their students throughout the week, and in many instances directing students to particular sessions. In some cases, sessions will have capped attendance and require sign-up earlier in the week. Students should have planned where they will be going for Blues Block well in advance of 12:55pm on Wednesdays.
Is attendance mandatory?
Students are expected to attend. This is their chance to access support and enhanced learning in a highly structured way. If a student is struggling or falling behind, you can be sure the first question we will ask is, "How are they using Blues Block?" Of course, Blues Block is still a 'flex' block, and students who, for example, are participating in Work Experience or the Registered Apprenticeship Program may be able to get an earlier start in the workplace on Wednesdays. We may also, on occasion, use Blues Block for student activities to lessen the disruption on regular classes. Students who are not in a designated space or participating in a designated activity during Blues Block will be asked to move along - it's not an opportunity to hang out with friends in the hallways, central gathering or elsewhere.
Buses will leave Paul Kane following Blues Block at 2:00pm.