Local School Leadership Council to vote on 4×4 schedule


Alan Ruiz

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the Local School Leadership Council will vote on whether to keep the 4×4 schedule at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. In this photo, students work on an assignment in AP World History on Dec. 6, 2021.

Maggie Simonyan

The Local School Leadership Council (LSLC) will decide today whether or not the school should continue with the 4×4 schedule or switch back to a 6-class schedule. 

“If we change back to a 6-period schedule, we’ll have nutrition and lunch so more breaks, which is nice,” junior Angel Zaragoza said. “Being in a class for too long is challenging.”

Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) switched from a 6-class schedule to a 4×4 schedule in the 2021-2022 school year, which gave the school additional funding from the school board. The goal of the change was to allow students to take more classes in high school through condensed 20-week courses. In the second year of the 4×4 schedule’s implementation, the LSLC will meet this afternoon, Feb. 2, to vote on whether the school should revert back to a 6-period schedule.

“The new six-class schedule would provide students and teachers with additional flexibility and opportunities to explore new classes and subjects,” a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson said.

The 4×4 schedule’s effect on student engagement and attention will influence the committee’s decision. Under the 6-period schedule, classes lasted around 60 minutes per period. With the 4×4 schedule, classes last about 90 minutes per period. Educational research has found that students focus on a single activity for as little as two minutes and for as long as 18 minutes. That study also shows that while students frequently lose focus for less than a minute before they regain it, their capacity to pay attention declines over the course of the lesson. 

Before coming to DPMHS, Glenda Hurtado, a world language teacher and current school staff member of the LSLC, worked under a 4×4 schedule at John Francis Polytechnic Senior High School. Upon arriving at DPMHS, it was very challenging for her to transition from a 4×4 schedule to a 6-class schedule. When the school decided to switch to a 4×4 schedule last school year, she was very delighted. 

“I really enjoy the current (one hour and 30 minute periods),” Hurtado said. “ We get to do a lot of modalities, skits, presentations, culture and grammar within that time. I’m able to break down into the different components of what it is to teach a language.” 

However, some students don’t like the idea of sitting in a classroom for 90 minutes. 

“With the 4×4 schedule, you get tired and fed up eventually,”  sophomore Alia Galvan said.  “But it is nice to focus on a subject for so long because you get to go over more, but it’s still a lot.”

Because periods are longer under the 4×4 schedule, teachers can incorporate more styles of teaching into their curriculum and study topics in greater complexity before the bell rings and students rush to the door. 

Hurtado used to instruct approximately 140 students during a 6-class schedule, but with the 4×4 schedule, she now has approximately 84 students. This change allows for a more one-on-one learning opportunity for the students. Ultimately, the committee will make a decision that will reflect the concerns of all in the school community.  

“The LSLC is considering this change because it takes into account the parent’s perspective, the student body, the faculty perspective and the administrative perspective.” Hurtado said.