You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Dexter High School to abandon trimester schedule in favor of semesters

By Cindy Heflin

Dexter High School will return to a two-semester schedule after several years of trimesters, the Dexter Leader reported.

Principal Kit Moran told the school board this week that the staff and students are unhappy with the three-trimester schedule, according to the article. Moran said the district plans to switch to a six-period day.


Thinking over here

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

I fought against trimesters in Saline. "Save money". phooey - only at the expense of the students' education. And it really hurts science and math students- Hello, MIchigan, we NEED technical skills in this economy. I just know that when my last graduates from Saline, they will revert back to Semester - probably to "save money".


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

With the newest graduation requirements I do not see any advantages of semesters over trimesters (from a student's point of view). 18 out of a minimum 21 credits for graduation are required. 6 credits X 4 years=24-18=6 OR 7.5X4=30-18=12. So do I want my kid having 6 elective options or 12 electives? As it is already the day of an emphasis of more than 1 area are a thing of the past. ie: music and college prep ... Schools are not about students.

Barbara Read

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

This Dexter school board meeting is online and you can watch both the principal's presentation and the discussion. There are some technical difficulties later in the tape, but the semester portion is quite clear. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

Future Skyline Parent here, hoping that this is the writing on the wall. I have received explanations from several staff there on the benefits of the trimester system, but they don't play out if I expect my child will: a) study music; b) master a foreign language; and c) enter a magnet or move ahead in math or science. Consequently, parents in my cohort are looking at the options for PHS, HHS, CHS, or other. But apparently, all school-choice seats at SHS are filled, so we either don't understand the whole picture, or we are not the clientele that the Skyline program seeks or serves. Current Skyline Parents, please enlighten us further!


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

My wife and I are kind of hoping they scrap the trimesters at Skyline too. As I read it, the benefits of trimesters are: - more planning time per day for teachers - more classes per year for students who aren't taking things like arts and languages (15 vs. 12) The drawbacks are: - fewer opportunities per year for students who are taking arts and foreign languages (3'hrs' vs. 4 hrs available per day) - forcing better students to drop arts and languages, even though those are valuable for well-rounded students and on college applications - strange scheduling compared to the rest of the district I think the problem is that foreign languages, the arts, and often math require a daily commitment. You make better progress if it's done daily, even if you spend less time per day doing it. A trimester schedule forces those students to either stick with the art/language, and commit more of their time per year to it, or drop it to take the other classes they need. To me, this is a problem, but other people may prefer that.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

I agree on all points. One of the challenges for us and the trimester system at Skyline has been the complete lack of continuity between teachers and courses during the school year. One year my son had math first and third tri and lost ground by skipping the second was like having to spend the first month reviewing during the third tri. He was assigned different teachers for those two tris and the difference in style was challenging to cope with. The next year he had math the first and second tri (different teachers each tri) and then no math the third tri and no math the first tri of the following year. Picking math up again after missing 9 months was horrible. With this wacky system students are put at a disadvantage with missing large chunks of time for various topics and are constantly having to change teachers and adjust to differing styles. We hate the trimester system.

Dr. I. Emsayin

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

Perhaps Ann Arbor will one day get their schools back on semesters too. With students going from one high school to another during the school day or between tri/semesters, it would make it much easier to swap students if there was consistency in the hours of a school day and the sem/tri-mesters of the year. Students are told they can split enroll, but in reality, it is almost impossible with all the rules and different schedules.


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

I would love to hear some details about why the students and staff are unhappy with the trimester schedule. This article lacks substance. My kids are at Skyline. We are very unhappy with the trimester system and feel this school should follow the traditional semester system like Pioneer and Huron. The trimester system at Skyline has wreaked havoc on students who want to participate in the arts (band, choir, orchestra) and take a language. God forbid your student be accepted to a magnet program. There is no time to complete a traditional college prep track and stay with the arts and a language on this system. The administration seems unwilling to listen to the criticism it has received about trimesters. Students in college prep track and the arts frequently have to enroll in online courses or take classes during the summer. We understand that these choices (arts and language) are ones that have consequences, but students are dropping out of these courses in great numbers due to schedule conflicts. Please follow up with some details regarding the Dexter decision.