White River High School returns to six periods for cost savings

White River High School will go back to the six-period bell schedule as a cost-saving effort and an educational enhancement move.

White River High School will go back to the six-period bell schedule as a cost-saving effort and an educational enhancement move.

In its master schedule and graduation requirement report to the White River School Board Jan. 28, Principal Mike Hagadone outlined how the transition from a block schedule to a six-period day will strengthen the school’s core curriculum, support electives, enhance advance placement offerings and enrollment, accomodate the state’s Algebra II requirement for the class of 2013 and provide intervention time for students who need it.

“The biggest gain, the financial aspect of it is a key piece as far as the district’s involvement,” Hagadone said. “The other key piece I feel strongly about is it better supports our core curriculum.”

A bonus is the benefits for advance placement course offerings and the school’s elective programs like music.

Making the move also takes into account falling enrollment, supports growth in year-long programs, supports sequentional elective programs, promotes growth of the high school’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and it parellels state testing, Hagadone pointed out.

White River has been on the four-period schedule for approximately seven years. At that time, explained Hagadone, who was not with the district at that time, many districts were taking advantage of the larger chunks of time to facilitate more group work, longer discussion, deeper study and more time for laboratories.

Hagadone said changing from an approximately 90-minute instruction period to 50 minutes will require students to spend more time on studies, homework, outside of class, but a six-period day, Hagadone noted, provides 30 hours more instructional time in a one-credit class.

Teachers will teach five classes and have one planning period versus the three instructional periods and one planning period they are now working. The change will continue to preserve late-start Mondays and student support time.

Hagadone said counselors are meeting with students, individually and in classrooms, to discuss scheduling and graduation requirements. Information will also be sent home to parents, as well as posted on the school Web site, www.whiteriver.wednet.edu.

He said there should be no problems converting credits for next year’s sophomores, juniors and seniors, and incoming freshman will enter on the revised credit system.

“The conversion is common and happens all the time,” he said. He also said credit conversion should be seamless for graduation and post-secondary education.

Hagadone also announced two classes that will be dropped from the high school curriculum – digitools and personal choices.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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