To inform parents of Crookston High School students of a possible schedule change in the school's daily academic schedule, on Monday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., there will be a parent meeting in the high school auditorium where an eight-period day will be discussed, following the school board meeting.
"Staff and students are on board," Principal Lon Jorgenson told the Times. "Now we just need the parents."
Earlier this school year, Jorgenson went around to classrooms and explained to students the advantages and a few disadvantages of an eight-period day versus the current seven-period day, and the idea has been floating around with teachers for about a year and a half. "Eighty-three percent of teachers are for it, along with 72 percent of students," said Jorgenson.
With an eight-period day, each student in the high school would be given a study hall, along with their normal seven classes. Their study hall would also be the new time for the daily homeroom "PrimeTime," eliminating the 15-minute common meeting time throughout the school after second period each day.
"The number one complaint of teachers is students aren't getting their homework done," said Jorgenson. "This provides an avenue."
Students would be responsible for using their time wisely, but with an additional class period to work on assignments, teachers would, the thinking goes, be receiving less late work. When asked if the hour would be equally split between primetime and study hall, Jorgenson said it would be completely up to the teachers. "The teachers have complete control of how they choose to run the hour," he said.
Eliminating the common meeting hour throughout the school means one class will no longer take the hit every time the school has a special event such as a guest speaker, One Act performances or Homecoming Coronation. "Every time we have a school-wide event, we will switch the hour of which that event is held, starting with first hour, then second hour the next time and so on," explained Jorgenson.
Another major benefit of the additional class hour is better security for the school. "Teachers and faculty will have more time to monitor the main entrance when they have extra time," said Jorgenson. This will also provide better supervision in the hallways, he continued, which will help eliminate tardiness and truancy, and also during lunch time.
Although the school day would consist of another period, class time would still end at 3:15 p.m., as it does now. However, classes would begin at 8:05 a.m. instead of the current 8:15 a.m., and there would be a five-minute deduction of class time per period. Smaller class hours is always a disadvantage, Jorgenson said, but students would be able to work on assignments during their study halls and meet with teachers if they have further questions that weren't answered during class time.
Page 2 of 2 - If the additional period is added to the schedule at the high school, a modified block schedule would potentially be able to be used in the future. "We would split the hours up 1-4 one day, and 5-8 the next," said Jorgenson. He said he doesn't see this happening in the near future, but it with the eight-hour schedule it would become a possibility.
With high numbers of staff and students in favor of the eight-period day, the extra hour day is becoming more and more likely to be put in place. According to their Jan. 14 meeting agenda, the school board will discuss the issue, but take no action.
Jorgenson said his main priority is to benefit the students of the school. "The best schedule is the one that works best for them," he said.