Iola High schedule change imminent



October 27, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Principal Stacey Fager handed USD 257 board members a plan for returning Iola High School to a seven-period day at their meeting Monday evening.
For years Iola High School has had block scheduling, which features four 90-minute periods a day in which subjects are taught every other day.
Administrators think a subject taught five days a week will enhance learning. A disadvantage of the change will be students will have fewer electives from which to choose.
With seven periods, the school day would go from 8 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. and classes would last about 48 minutes.
Fager said he drew up the plan with the help of faculty and staff members.
“We looked at a lot of scenarios,” he said, and “I feel like the (new) schedule can accommodate a lot of things.”
Kansas requires classes to meet 1,116 hours a year; the new schedule would total 1,130.04 hours.
Teachers also were polled on the importance of a seminar period and whether it should be at the end of the day, with positive responses being nearly 90 percent to both questions. Teachers also voted, by 57 percent, to give up five minutes of their 25-minute lunch times if that were necessary for a seminar period.
“I think 28 minutes will be enough, but we could look at lunch times in the future,” Fager said of the time allotted for teachers.
He encouraged board members to decide the issue soon — either November meeting will be sufficient — to provide time to gear up for the change in 2016-17. Enrollment for the next school year will occur early in the spring semester.
A change in graduation requirements also would be a part of a new schedule, he pointed out. During 2016-17, required credits will drop by 1, to 27. By the 2019-20 school year, when this year’s eighth graders will be seniors, 24 credits will be required. The state requirement is 21 credits.

BOARD MEMBERS voted to adopt a policy for booster clubs and other parents organizations associated with the district, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Essentially, said Superintendent Jack Koehn, the policy will require clubs to make known their current officers and members, as well as fundraising plans.
Board members also voted unanimously to purchase a house at 206 N. Colborn for $17,500. The house is directly east of the cafeteria and has district-owned property on either side. Immediate plans are for a parking lot.

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