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Franklin Regional principal: 7-period day would help students

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

High school Principal Ron Suvak made a final bid Monday to convince Franklin Regional school directors that a proposed scheduling shift will improve student learning.

“We believe that the proposal we have put forth ... is as good or better than any of the other alternatives,” Suvak said.

The board is considering moving toward a seven-period day with a common time during school hours that would allow students to receive extra help, if needed, or catch up on class work.

A vote on the matter is expected at the board's Nov. 19 meeting.

The seven-period day is unpopular with high-performing students and their parents, who say scheduling opportunities will be lost if the common time, known as Quality Resource Time, is implemented. Suvak proposed a compromise for those students that would allow for an elective to be scheduled during the common time.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors would be able to decide which option to choose, Suvak said. Most of those students have at least one study hall during the day. Freshmen would not be affected.

The board has been debating the change during much of the 2012-13 school year. Suvak and a group of teachers presented the benefits of a common time. Students opposed to the change have voiced their opinions as well.

Directors tabled the proposal during their Oct. 15 meeting.

Director Paul Scheinert suggested clarifying the wording of the proposal that would indicate a student's ability to choose, rather than referring to the proposal as a seven-period day. “I'm very much interested in seeing a change in language,” he said.

Director Kimberly Bondi said the wording should be left up to administrators.

“I think the parents understand that they can schedule eight periods,” she said. “We hire the administrators to come up with wording.”

Students who are asked by teachers to meet with them during QRT will be required to do so, or it will be considered cutting a class.

In February, the board voted down a switch to a seven-period day.

A presentation in the following months of expanded online opportunities led at least one director to rethink the vote.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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