SD 227 may bring back 7th period
By Sarah Zylstra Correspondent February 13, 2014 7:24PM
Updated: February 14, 2014 2:13AM
Adding optional periods to the beginning and end of the school day will let students at Rich Township High School District 227 gain back a seventh period lost last year to budget cuts.
The new schedule could save the district about $200,000, interim Supt. Ronald Patton said. Teachers would start at 7:30 a.m. with an expanded list of optional classes, including physical education, foreign language, music and art.
About 900 students would be able to use the early bird option at the three high schools, Hope Stovall, the district’s career technical education coordinator, said.
By shaving one minute from the current 53-minute classes and moving a 25-minute student support period to after school, students also will be able to fit in bus rides to and from another campus, Rich East Principal Mark Kramer said. Midday busing is crucial to District 227’s plan for each school to specialize in a career path.
Kramer said students would be bused to a visiting campus for fourth and fifth periods to “take two career tech classes or a career tech class and another class they need in their schedule.” They would return to their home campus and could leave school at 2:40 p.m. Teachers would stay until 3:30 p.m. to offer students tutoring without students having to miss class time, activities or sports.
“It allows time for counselors, deans and other teachers to meet with students without impacting them and pulling them out of instruction time,” Rich East special education teacher Colleen Clifford told the school board.
Adding back the seventh period was a top request from students, board president Cheryl Coleman said. The board likely will vote on the proposal at its Feb. 18 meeting.