School days will be longer starting in fall
A new, longer day will provide more variety for students, cost just a bit more and extend contact time that teachers have with students by 80 hours over the course of the school year, beginning next September.
The longer day will re-introduce a seven-period schedule in the grades 7-12 wing of the new school, allowing for more course offerings.
It’s all part of a plan the Legislature put into place a year ago that increases student contact time and requires 24 credits to graduate.
In the current school year, classes begin about 8:30 in the morning and end about 2:30. The new schedule for the 2014-15 school year calls for a start of 8:21 a.m. and a close of 3:27 p.m.
The Legislature first set the 2014-15 school year for the targeted date and then later delayed it one year. The school district here, having everything in place, decided by board action to move forward this fall, since the change was coming anyway.
Seniors graduating in 2018 will need 24 credits to graduate, allowing for more electives during the course of their high school experience.
“There will be a potential of 28 credits, giving students more electives and allowing them to make up a credit if they have a problem,” Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson noted.
Currently, seniors need only 21 credits to graduate, and that will continue until this year’s freshman class graduates in 2017.
The seven-period day only affects the elementary school by extending its day.
“We plan to add some activities for the younger students so they can adjust to the extended period,” Carlson said.
Carlson said the added cost to the district for the extended day hadn’t been calculated.