New high school in SP may have students enrolled in two schools – 11/25/2021 – Laura Mattos

The government of São Paulo is preparing to open the possibility of the same student enrolling simultaneously in two schools in the new high school. The plan is to be able to attend, in one unit, the basic subjects, those mandatory for all, and choose another school that offers the specific curriculum of interest.

In the new secondary education, which must be implemented by all schools in Brazil from next year, students will have to choose an area of ​​knowledge, with which they have more affinity, in order to deepen their studies. These are the so-called training itineraries, and there are five main ones: mathematics, languages, natural sciences, humanities and vocational education. At least 40% of the curriculum must be dedicated to the subjects of the training itinerary.

Schools, both public and private, will have the flexibility to combine areas, creating new itineraries, and they don’t need to offer all of them — it is mandatory that at least two be available. Students, therefore, may be interested in itineraries that are not offered by their school, but by another one.

For cases like this, the public network of São Paulo, for the time being, provides for the transfer of students, as long as there is space at the school with the curriculum of interest. But the State Department of Education is already preparing to make enrollment more flexible, freeing students to take the basic subjects at one school and the training itinerary at another. It will also be possible to do both in the same unit and enroll in another to attend classes in optional disciplines after hours. According to Caetano Siqueira, pedagogical coordinator at the state secretariat, “the enrollment system is designed to make this possible in the future, probably from 2023 onwards.”

The São Paulo network will have ten itineraries combining the four areas (mathematics, languages, natural sciences and human sciences), in addition to vocational education. These itineraries were named after names considered more attractive to young people, and are as follows: 1) Cultura em Movimento; 2) #SeLigaNaMedia; 3) Overcoming challenges is human; 4) #who_divides_multiplies; 5) Start! Time for the challenge!; 6) My role in sustainable development; 7) Body, health and languages; 8) Soil culture: from the countryside to the city; 9) Science in action!; 10) Connected Mathematics.

Siqueira says that all schools, even the smallest ones and with few students, must offer itineraries that cover the four areas. Therefore, those that have only two itineraries must make available those that combine two areas. The coordinator says that each unit defined its itineraries based on consultation with students. “Schools implement the itineraries that most of their students want. But it may happen that some are interested in a combination that isn’t offered.”

​Siqueira exemplifies: “There may be, in a given school, two itineraries with the combined areas, one of mathematics/natural sciences and the other of languages/humanities, but a student may want to study the combination of mathematics/languages”. For cases like this, the solution is, nowadays, the attempt to transfer the student, and in the future it will be enrollment in more than one school.

The rule in the São Paulo education network is that students who reside within a radius of 2 km from the school are prioritized for enrollment. If there are surplus spaces, they can be opened to other interested parties, registered in order of arrival. Schools located in more central areas (in the case of the capital, also those close to subway stations) are usually sought after by students from different regions of the city. This demand tends to increase with the diversity of itineraries. According to Siqueira, when there is a high demand for an itinerary in a particular school, the secretariat will assess the opening of new classes.

Part of the new high school course can also be done at a distance, through the São Paulo Education Media Center, launched during the pandemic. Through the application, available for cell phones, tablets and computers, students will be able to take online classes with their classes and with their own teachers, or follow content prepared for the entire network. Siqueira gives an example of a hybrid process, that is, one that mixes remote and face-to-face teaching: “A professor who teaches a class on sustainability will be able to access, at the Media Center, a video of a visit to the nuclear laboratory at the University of São Paulo. Paulo”, he explains. “This access will take place in the regular classroom of the state school, with students, in person and together with their teacher, watching the content online.”

In the case of remote classes, the app will monitor the presence of students, and teachers are being trained to engage them and make sure they are participating in classes, according to Bruna Waitman, coordinator of the Media Center and School of Education and Improvement of the Education Professionals of São Paulo.

Students will not be able to complete the entire training itinerary online, and the number of distance hours will be below the maximum allowed by law, according to Siqueira. For day courses, distance education will have a maximum of 10% of the workload, while the law authorizes up to 20%. At night, it will be up to 25%, below the 30% limit.

Given the damage caused by remote learning to learning and mental health in 2020 and 2021, the understanding is that online classes should be, from 2022, only complementary to on-site classes. The new high school is seen by educators as strategic in an attempt to rescue students’ interest and even to try to bring back those who dropped out of school in the pandemic. In this scenario, distance classes are considered risky for the coming years.

Siqueira emphasizes that the remote model will only be used for optional subjects, additional to the current curriculum. “Only part of the expansion of the workload can be done in the application. The content that we already had before the new high school will only be in person. Only the ‘extra’ will be able to have a distance part”, he guarantees.

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