Mabton mulls more flexible high school schedule

MABTON - In order to broaden student opportunities, Mabton School Board officials are currently contemplating switching from a six-period semester schedule to a five-period trimester schedule. But not without parental input first.

High School Principal Jay Tyus presented a report to the school board outlining the advantages and disadvantages of changing the system.

In its current state, the six-period schedule strictly limits remediation work if remediation becomes necessary.

The proposed trimester schedule would consist of three 12-week trimesters per year, with two official grading periods per trimester. Teachers would teach four classes per trimester and would have about 70 minutes of instructional time each class.

According to Tyus's report, the advantages include students being able to have more electives, lighter homework loads and the fact that if a student fails a class, there are more opportunities to repeat it and still graduate on time. Students would earn 2.5 credits per trimester.

Tyus said that staff considered returning to a seven-period day schedule, but that "it really causes a feeling of being herded" from one class to the next.

High school staff were one vote vote of a unanimous decision to switch to the trimester schedule.

Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis said she wanted school board members to have time to consider the change. And, she added, she'd like to see the same kind of support from parents that the staff has demonstrated.

"The next task for the school board will be communicating with the community," she said.

Pasiero-Davis said that the proposed change would allow staff to be "less punitive when a child is struggling to succeed."


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