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School Board Approves Six-Period Day for Sibley

The high school will switch to six periods per day with the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

The West St. Paul – Mendota Heights – Eagan area school board unanimously passed a resolution at Monday's board meeting that will change the schedule at from a seven-period day to a six-period day, beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

“For me, this makes a lot of sense,” said board member Joanne Mansur.

The schedule change could save the district between $300,000-$500,000 in staff reductions, said business director Brian Schultz, in a previous Patch .

Changing Sibley’s schedule will increase instructional time efficiency from 71 percent to 83 percent and will increase class periods up to nine minutes, according to documents provided by . 

A designated schedule committee comprising of students, administrators, parents, staff and board member David Koziol was assigned the task of evaluating the schedules and graduation requirements of 35 different schools. Their goal was to determine a cost-effective option for the district that simultaneously maximized student opportunities. 

The committee voiced unanimous support for a six-period day. Committee representatives presented their research to the board in May.

Representatives recommended the elimination of study halls, late start and early release. The committee also recommended that Sibley offer a wide range of hybrid classes and that the school offer health and physical education as summer courses, in addition to French 2, which is already offered in the summer.

Despite the committee’s unanimous agreement, some board members voiced concern.

Board treasurer Pat Barnum worried that the board might be solving spending issues by removing choices for students and asked whether Sibley should be offering more classes. Vice chair and clerk Dewayne Dill wondered how the six-period day would affect student athletes when they needed to miss class.

Despite these concerns, the board voted to pass the resolution.

As the district moves forward with solidifying the new schedule, administrators will work toward developing increased scheduling flexibility for students.

“I’m confident we can make this work,” said board chair Mark Spurr.

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Becky Anderson June 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Could someone detail how the efficiency percentages are caluclated?
Anna Schier June 08, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Great question, Becky! I've put in a call to the district inquiring about efficiency percentages and I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from them.
Anna Schier June 08, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Hi Becky, I just got off the phone with Susan Brott, chief marketing and communications officer for the district. She told me that instructional time efficiency is calculated by dividing the number of minutes a teacher spends teaching each day by the total number of minutes in a student school day. With the seven-period system, teachers teach five periods, have one period to prep and spend another period supervising study hall. With the six-period day, they'll still teach five periods each day and have one period to prep, but won't spend any time supervising study hall. Hope that answers your question!
Becky Anderson June 12, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Yes - now I know how the numbers were calculated.
Juli Menssen September 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I am going back and reading a lot of discussion regarding the six period day. Our family feels like a study hall is a necessary part of the day for students trying to balance sports or any other intensive extracurricular activity and advanced classes. Further, since Sibley moved to the late start and other schools did not, athletes, especially spring athletes, are missing their 7th hour class frequently. Some of these athletes were choosing 7th hour study hall to mitigate this problem. Dewayne Dill's comment was spot on. I'm frustrated that the concern was ignored and Mr. Dill gave in.

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