Terms, Days, Periods
These words refer to the “Shape” of you school schedule. It is frequently difficult to explain in general. Some points are important to some school’s, but meaningless to others.
Terms – Is asking, for scheduling purposes is your school semestered, trimestered, quartered, or all year through.
Year-through is the simplest, all students take all their courses for the full school year. In Websched the number of terms is one (T=1).
Semestered is that some students take some courses for half the year, then switch to another course for the second half-year. T=2.
Caveat, if your only semestered courses are Woodwork and MetalWork, and all students taking WoodWork in first term take MetalWork in second term (and vice versa), then those courses are semestered. BUT, your life would be simpler if you invented a course called, say WoodMetal, and then scheduled your school as year-through, T=1. In WebSched you can sort out the Wood/Metal split later.
Trimestered is that the school year is split into three sections, and students take different courses in each section. T=3. Again if the split is that students rotate between Crime & Punishment, Oliver Twist, and Les Miserables, you are better off scheduled it year-through T=1.
Quartered, sometimes called Copernican (only Copernicus knows why), is that students take eight courses in a year, two in each of four terms.
Days or Cycle – is more difficult to explain. If all students are taking all their current courses in the same day, then D = 1. That’s easy.
A typical two-day cycle would be D=2, P=8:
But if students take Eng, Math, Art, PhysEd on Monday, and Fre, Sci, Music, SocSci on Tuesday that too is D=1. It would be better to refer to Days as Cycle, but that doesn’t explain it much better.
Or if students take eight courses, five each day rotating, that is also D = 1. There are two conventional ways of doing this.
5×5, D=1, P=8:
|Fre10||Math10||Music||PhysEd10b||Go Home Early|
5×8, D=1, P=8:
Periods is the number of time units in the scheduling cycle, cycle usually means day.
In all the examples above the number of periods is eight.