High School May Change the Typical School Day
In an effort to save the Twinsburg City School District money, Principal Louise Teringo has found some ways to change the high school schedule
Twinsburg High Principal Louise Teringo is looking to transition to an alternating block day schedule, letting students choose seven course offerings, rather than eight. Currently students take four 90-minute classes everyday each semester.
Under the new system each class would last the entire year, rather than switching after the semester. It resembles a college schedule, offering four blocks on Tuesday/Thursday and three (plus a study lab) on Wednesday/Friday. Monday's schedule would be determined at the beginning of the year.
“Sometimes we have to make changes, we are at a cross-roads right now,” Teringo said.
Teringo said out of the ten options her and her staff looked at in the past few months, this seemed to fit the best, keeping the 90-minute instruction time with the least amount of transition.
"We said, 'How can we adjust with still keeping block, but compromising on some of the offerings, rather than dismantling a student’s schedule and whole day?'"
"The only thing that was compromised was to pick one less course," Teringo said.
However, by offering less classes to students, the school will have to change the number of credits it requires to graduate.
“Why would you keep the graduation requirement so high but not give them the opportunities?” Teringo said.
The high school currently requires 24 credits for seniors to graduate, but will likely reduce the number to 22, still above the state minimum of 20 credits. Teringo said 22 credits still allows kids to have many opportunies and keeps the district operating above the state minimum.
The new alternating block day schedule will likely be voted on by the school board in the coming weeks.
So how will this save the district money?
The formula is pretty simple: By students choosing less offerings, there will be less courses, and the school will need less staff to instruct particular electives.
The district is looking at cutting about 12 certificated teaching positions, which could save just under $2 million in two years.
While the target number is still moving, Teringo said it will be tough to cut programs and ultimately, people.
"The hard part is saying goodbye to people who have been part of Twinsburg’s history, but their program hasn’t been popular with student selections."