A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Prisoners Of Time - April 1994

IS THERE A BETTER WAY?

Developing a New Generation of Scientists, Scholars, and Leaders

No one can visit the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia, without realizing it is one of the most remarkable public schools in the United States-remarkable for the wealth of the suburban school district that supports it, the talents of its selected students, the skill of its staff, the technologies it employs, and the support it receives from the business community.

It is remarkable for something else as well. Its schedule is different; every school day at Thomas Jefferson is lengthened by one period, during which every one of its 1,600 9th to 12th graders is required to participate in a student activity or related coursework such as tutoring, laboratories, or guidance activities. Daily schedules are also flexible enough to let every class meet for at least one double-period every week.

The selectivity of the school-and corporate sponsorship of state-of-the- art technological environments in areas such as optics, energy systems, telecommunications, biotechnology, and industrial robotics-makes it easy to overlook the school's schedule as a factor in its success.

What does the extra period mean in practice? According to sophomore Paul Helms, "It is one of the most important things in the school. I use it to go to both the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and to a Latin Honors class." Senior Seth Mitcho: "Eighth period has helped make this school the center of our lives and often of our families."

A schedule that helps make school the center of the lives of students and families may be the most remarkable thing about the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Providing Day Care and Pre-School Programs amidst Rural Poverty Table of Contents The Extended Day and Year: One Community's Experience with Public Demand


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