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.