WCSD finalizing shift back to eight period high school day

Since the 2017-2018 school year, the Warren County School District has operated its high school schedule on a seven-period day.

That number is set to go back to eight for the 2024-2025 school year.

And district officials are optimistic that the change will result in additional opportunities for students.

Superintendent Gary Weber said that the shift to seven periods was a recommendation put forward by an educational reform committee. The district, at that time, aligned the middle school and high school together on a seven period day.

“(We were) trying to give the high school classes some more time, added time,” Director of Administrative Support Services Eric Mineweaser said. Seven periods gave teachers “more time within their day to teach more” and provide opportunities for “guided practice.”

The change hasn’t reflected in the outcomes the district was hoping to see.

“We haven’t necessarily seen the benefits of that,” Weber said.

“There wasn’t like a drastic increase in state assessment scores going up,” Mineweaser added.

Weber said it also caused problems at the elementary level because the schedules didn’t align.

Flexibility is the name of the game for why the district is making the change.

“(We are) definitely going to have more flexibility,” Mineweaser said. “If class sizes are kind of high now, adding another period could offset that” by adding another section.

He said there will be chances for adding additional electives, allowing students more opportunities than the seven period model allowed.

“That has been a topic of conversation for a while,” he added. “People thought the seven period schedule was too crunched.”

The school board approved a graduation requirement policy change that essentially locks in this change. It’s expected to take effect for the 2024-2025 school year.

Mineweaser said the change will result in the district bringing back core subject electives, something that has only recently been available at the middle level.

“We were game planning this (and) thought this potentially could happen,” he said. “We were ready to go bring back those core electives.”

That “gives the kids more offerings.”

That’s expected to hold for Sheffield students that are currently bussed to Warren, as well.

“It’ll be more flexible for them to pick up electives in the afternoon like everybody else,” Weber said, though he cautioned that not every elective can be offered there as those decisions are “based on the size of the building.”

Amid a much-publicized teacher shortage, the change to eight periods is expected to – again – provide flexibility.

The change will allow core subject teachers to offer elective and will help with coverage.

Mineweaser said that guidance counselors are working with students as we approach the end of the current school year to identify for some students “what they truly need.”

For students who may have failed a class, that may be a recovery class that can be offered with the additional schedule flexibility that couldn’t be offered now.

For others, counselors will be “trying to give them another opportunity.”


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