New schedule likely for FHSIt looks like Farmington High School students will have to find their way around more than a new building next fall.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
It looks like Farmington High School students will have to find their way around more than a new building next fall.
The Farmington School Board is set to make a decision Nov. 24 on a new schedule — including a new start time — for high school students.
The new schedule, first discussed in front of the school board last June, will split the day into five class periods with an optional zero hour at the beginning of the day. Students can use the zero hour to take electives or other classes that don’t otherwise fit into their schedule.
The school year will be divided into three trimesters rather than the current two semesters.
The school day could also start a little later if board members approve. Research over the past decade or so has suggested teenagers perform better in school if they have a chance to sleep a little later. The proposed new schedule would start the high school day at 8:20 a.m. and end it at 3:05 p.m.
The idea behind the schedule change is to find more effective ways to schedule students’ days. Switching to trimesters should give students more chances to take different classes and should give teachers more opportunities to intervene with students who are struggling.
“We feel this has the potential to be a real positive in our building,” math teacher Jason Berg said when he discussed the schedule in June.
Making the adjustment will take some work. Many teachers like the idea of having longer classes — the new class period will be 64 minutes rather than 47 — because it will give them a chance to go deeper into lessons or experiments. For other teachers, though, it will mean learning new teaching methods to take full advantage of the longer classes.
It could also take a little time for students to get used to scheduling their days. Board member Tim Weyandt suggested Monday that students will need some additional guidance so they don’t schedule themselves into corners and make it impossible down the line to take the classes they need.
“The first couple years they have to know what’s around the corner,” Weyandt said. “I want to make sure we’ve thought about just about everything we can.”
Board members asked some questions about the new schedule and raised a few concerns but none appeared opposed to the plan. The board is expected to vote on the new schedule at it’s regular meeting Nov. 24.