A stakeholder group that has studied the schedule recommends the school transition from a seven-period day to a six-period day in the 2013-2014 school year.
A presentation by committee chair Sibley Assistant Principal Tom Orth was given to the . Principal Robin Percival voiced her support for the plan, which received unanimous approval by the committee.
The committee, which began , was composed of three students, three parents, three staff, three administrators, school board representative David Koziol and ex-officio members Curriculum Director Jean Menard and Interim Superintendent Tom Nelson.
The goal was to create a more sustainable, cost-effective schedule that maximized opportunities for students.
By switching to a six-period day, the district could save anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 based on staffing reductions, according to Business Director Brian Schultz.
The committee examined the schedules and graduation requirements of 35 different schools, and focused on hybrid class/online options, music and world language classes, summer options and how the schedule could align with the middle school schedules in the district.
As part of the six-period day, the taskforce recommends elimination of study halls, late start and early release.
Orth said the school's start time of 8:30 a.m. is already a "late start" compared to many other districts.
Athletes who need to leave their last class early for the most part did not take advantage of seventh-period study halls, and may benefit from the longer class periods, said Orth. Classes will run up to nine minutes longer under the new schedule.
Guided study would continue for targeted freshman and sophomores, and early release for seniors with a 3.0 GPA is a possibility.
Students graduating this spring can accumulate 29 credits if they take geometry in eigth grade, but the average high school graduate has 25.5.
“With our new system we can achieve that easily,” said Orth.
Sibley students will be able to accrue 27 credits, or up to 29 if they take geometry and the first year of language in eighth grade.
The district requires 23 credits to graduate, and the state requires 21.5.
More Class/Online Hybrid Classes
Hybrid offerings will require class time a few days a week, supplemented by online learning. Hybrid classes would become available in the sophomore year and include both core subjects, such as chemistry and history, as well as electives, including fashion design.
Summer classes to help provide flexibility are also on the table. Health and physical education are likely candidates, said Orth. French 2 is already offered in the summer.
Orth assured the board that students will be able to take advantage of both a world language and a music class as part of their schedule.
“What I really like is a student can get everything they need and not have to do a zero-hour,” said Koziol. He said there is “a lot of lost opportunity” in the existing schedule, and while the proposal will likely be adjusted over the next year, it provides a framework for moving forward.