The Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees voted to reestablish the district’s regular schedule beginning in August, assuming COVID-19 guidance from local health officials allows it.
The district has adopted multiple schedules since returning to some in-person classes, including most recently a four-day, in-person block schedule.
For the 2021-22 academic year, ZCS officials expect students to return to pre-pandemic five-day, in-person schedules. Zionsville Community High School and both middle schools will revert to their seven-period schedule for most of the week, ZCS officials said.
In addition, school start times will return to pre-pandemic schedules. Currently, high school and middle school classes begin at 9 a.m. ZCS Supt. Scott Robison said high school classes will resume at 8:30 a.m. in August, and middle school students will begin school days at 8:45 a.m. Elementary times will remain the same. Middle school e-days for professional development also will continue, as will e-days for inclement weather and school cancellations.
Robison said the district’s move to the five-day, in-person schedule is predicated on a favorable recommendation from the Boone County Health Dept. before the 2021-22 school year starts.
“We are excited to be returning,” ZCHS Principal Tim East said. “We think we are at our best when we are face-to-face. And having everybody on campus five days a week will allow us to provide them the next level of service, particularly in their social and emotional needs. Proximity means so much in building relationships with teachers and students for that class cohesiveness that comes with that.”
ZCHS will adopt a new, modified block schedule on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, one block period will be a mentor access period where students can more easily ask questions of teachers and seek assistance outside of academic block periods.
Prior to the pandemic, the school planned to introduce the schedule, which East said will allow students to connect with teachers “on a personal, social, emotional level.” Feedback from high school students revealed they preferred the modified block schedule to be on Tuesday and Wednesday, rather than Wednesday and Thursday, East said.