By JASON MOON
After nearly a year-long study, a group approached the Clay Community School Board Thursday with its final recommendation regarding the possibility of changing the corporation's current scheduling.
The group recommended the board change from its current scheduling process to trimester scheduling by an 18-2 vote.
The corporation currently has six periods during the day with an option of early bird courses. Classes are 55 minutes in length.
In November, the board put together a secondary scheduling advisory committee to look into the possibility of changing scheduling.
On Thursday, board co-chairs Rachel Sparks and Kathy Knust approached the school board with the group's findings.
We had our work cut out for us," Knust said.
The group looked into three scheduling options, including an eight block schedule, a seven period day and trimester scheduling.
According to its findings, the 20-person group agreed that trimester scheduling was best suited for the corporation.
According to Sparks and Knust, trimester schedule is 12 weeks long. In trimester scheduling, students take five classes each day and teachers teach four classes each day.
In addition, Sparks and Knust said there are two grading periods in each trimester and each class is 70 minutes long.
More advantages to moving to trimester scheduling include:
* Students can take more electives,
* Student homework load is lighter,
* Fewer courses provide students with more time to devote to each subject,
* Students may be more willing to take a challenging 12-week course,
* If a student fails a course, there are more opportunities to repeat the course and graduate on time,
* The schedule provides more opportunities to increase graduation requirements at the local level, and
*?The schedule provides "creative flexibility" that will enable (teachers)?to schedule students according to varying educational needs.
There were several other advantaages and other disadvantages.
According to the study, disadvantages include:
* There are fewer class changes each day which creates fewer opportunities for potential disruptions and discipline problems,
* Teachers have fewer preparations each day,
* Teachers have more planning time each day,
* The extra time for credits provides opportunities for adding new courses,
* The schedule could provide time for teacher collaboration and/or student resource time, and
* There is more daily time for comprehensive instruction taught via various teaching strategies.
"I think the committee did a great job," CCS Supt. Dan Schroeder said.
Schroeder added that the decision is now in the hands of the school board.
In other news, the board:
* Voted 6-0 to add Tony Alstott and Julie Shaw to the Reconsideration Committee.
* Heard a first reading of the Non-Certified Evaluation Policy.
* Learned that two meetings have been set up for the public to hear about the corporation's proposed $53 million renovation project. The first meeting is set for 6:30 p.m., Sept. 20, at Clay City High School.
The second meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Sept. 27, at North Clay Middle School.
* Learned that ISTEP+ testing will begin Sept. 12 and conclude Sept. 28 for students in grades 3-10. Sophomores in the corporation will also have to take the GQE test on Sept. 18-20.
* Unanimously voted to seek quotes for books for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years.
* Voted 6-0 to advertise for four buses, fuel and tires.
* Heard an update on Jackson Township Elementary School from Principal Jeff Fritz.
The board meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month. However, its next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Sept. 18, to discuss health insurance.
The meeting will take place at North Clay Middle School in the media center.