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Hall high schools may adopt modified 7-period schedule
Plan would include both regular and block days
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Hall County high schools had nearly 40 students nominated for the Governor's Honors Program, a record for the school system. Finalists will be announced in March.

Hall County plans to offer new honors classes for next school year, including Spanish I, Chinese I, band, chorus and three career, technical and agricultural education classes.

The proposed tuition for the Advanced Scholars Academy prekindergarten at Riverbend Elementary School will be set somewhere between $100 and $230 a week for students.

The pre-K program will be officially proposed at an upcoming board meeting.

 

Seventh period at Hall County high schools could be undergoing some changes for the 2012 school year, board officials announced Monday.

Terry Sapp, educator on special assignment for Hall County Schools, proposed a new schedule that would change the amount of time students would spend in each class period.

According to the schedule, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, students would attend all seven periods for 50 minutes each. On Wednesdays, students would go to their first, third, fifth and seventh period classes, and on Thursdays their second, fourth, sixth and seventh period classes. Classes on the modified days would each last 105 minutes, assuming there is a 180-day calendar and no reduced work schedule days.

"We haven't come to a conclusion yet on which way to go," Sapp said. "A lot of this was a response to some of our teachers who feel the whirlwind effect of a seven-period day."

She said the modified schedule would allow extended time for science labs, writing periods and practice Advanced Placement tests.

"All high schools, including (Lanier Charter Career Academy) would follow this schedule. It doesn't have any impact on the students who travel back and forth," Sapp said.

Hall County went to a seventh-period format two years ago for financial and instructional reasons, Superintendent Will Schofield said. When that happened, schools chose to use a traditional schedule rather than a modified one, like the one proposed Monday night.

"I feel like they've begun feeling a modified seven would give them some benefit for their classes to do activities that are awful hard to do with the schedule now," Schofield said.

He's heard from some teachers that it's easier to have their kids for shorter periods every day, especially in classes with more difficult subject matter. On the other hand, he said, there are some classes with lab activities that could benefit from a modified seven-period schedule.

"It's incredibly important the staff is comfortable with this," he said. "We're not recommending it (for board approval) but we will have to move pretty quickly if we're going to do this. It has all kinds of a domino effect with what we have to do with our computer systems behind the curtain in terms of class schedules."

Nath Morris, board chairman, said the concerns he's heard are of students being confused about what classes to attend on which day.

"I think putting (the two modified days) back-to-back will really help take care of that problem," board member Bill Thompson said. "It makes it much easier to get adjusted to and remember."

Sapp said most of the feedback she's heard is positive.

"The only disadvantages I can find is that one day you don't get a planning period, although one day you get an extended period," she said. "That's the most complaint I've heard."

 

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