P.E. 2: Lifetime Fitness class at Horizon Community Learning Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Grades seven through 12 at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee Foothills will see changes in the school day next year, including a new eight-period block schedule and a learning lab to support the Common Core Standards.

Horizon’s school-day schedule will be kept at its 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. start and end times, with the addition of the eighth period. Secondary students will spend 85 minutes in each block that now includes the Scholastic Learning Lab for grades seven through 10.

Secondary principal Nancy Emmons said the learning lab will be offered by every teacher who will be assigned to students, providing specific assistance during the regular school day.

Since high school grades have not had as much exposure to the standards that address math and English/language arts, Emmons said she hopes the new learning lab will prepare students for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARC) assessments, which are K-12 tests for English and math, following the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test.

“We want to make sure the students have daily math and humanities to really catch up on those standards,” she said.

Horizon is also on the verge of full implementation of the new Common Core Standards in mathematics and English/language arts, according to a letter sent out by Emmons this week. Common Core Standards have been adopted by 47 states in the country.

Emmons said the lab and block addition is a way to get more “involved in hands-on material.”

“To us, this is just more of what we’ve been about and a validation. It’s not just about schedule change,” she added.

While an official announcement was made for secondary grades at the school for the next school year, Emmons said changes for elementary student schedules will also be announced in the coming weeks.

A series of orientations for parents and students will be hosted starting next week at Horizon for more information on the new block period, learning lab, and new courses available in the fall.

Orientations will be in the Secondary Community Room on Wednesday, Jan. 23 beginning at 8:10 a.m. for current seventh-graders, 9 a.m. for eighth-graders, 9:50 a.m. for ninth-graders, 1 p.m. for 10th-graders, and 1:50 p.m. for 11th-graders.

An orientation for current sixth-graders at Horizon will be hosted on Jan. 30 at 1:30 p.m. for students and 6 p.m. for parents.

“We will continue to create an environment where the student is at the center of all we do; where education is personalized for each student and is anchored in the real world,” Emmons said in a school letter.

Horizon Community Learning Center is located at 16233 S. 48th St. For more information, visit horizonclc.org.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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