South Bend school board approves 7 period school day - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend school board approves 7 period school day

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The South Bend Community Schools Corporation took a pretty important vote Tuesday on whether to change the school day for High School students from six periods to seven.

It's a decision that leaders have been mulling over for a while.

The School Board voted 5-2 in support of the change, but not before hearing from many members of the public.

Those in support of a seven period day say it's a good opportunity for students.

The Principal of Clay High School says students will be able to retake classes they've failed in the class.

It will also allow students to take extra courses so they can get ahead or so that they don't have to go to summer school.

"We've come to consensus that If it's good for the kids, then it's good for everybody," says Clay High School Principal Mansour Eid.

Adams High School student Molly Kelsey says, "For students who want the opportunity to take extra classes, they can't do it right now with our 6th period class."

Others spoke in opposition to the change to seven periods.

Teachers at Adams High School say they worry about losing teaching time.

They also worry about losing their "Success" period that allows them to work with struggling students, and it part of South Bend's 8-Step-Process.

The teachers asked the school board to allow Adams to opt out of the change.

"Six period class works very well at Adams," says Adams High School teacher Mike Szucs.

"We're going to lose around 30 hours of instruction time," says Adams High School teacher Randy Ebright.

This is a change Elkhart Community High Schools made a couple years back.

The principal of Elkhart Memorial, Mark Tobolski says he doesn't like the seven period school day.

The high school was on a block schedule and Tobolski says the change was a huge adjustment and staff and teachers feel rushed to squeeze everything in.

However, Tobolski says Elkhart Central likes the change. They went from a six period to seven period day, much like South Bend will be doing.

Tobolski says each school will have to adjust and do things their own way, but he says ultimately, South Bend teachers shouldn't worry too much.

"Teachers are nervous, I don't think they should be. Like I said, going from a block I'd say there's going to be a huge adjustment, but going from a six to a seven, they'll be a few things, but nothing major," says Tobolski.

The new schedule will go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year.

Roger Parent and Bill Sniadecki voted against the proposal.

Parent says he was really bothered by the loss in class time, about five minutes a period.

Sniadecki says the district has made many gains over the last few years with the 8 step program and he didn't want to throw a wrench in the system.

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