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South Butler tweaks schedule

| Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 12:52 a.m.

There will be major changes in the South Butler School District in the sixth-, seventh- and eighth- grade schedules for the 2013-14 school yearto accommodate staffing availability and to focus on the common core curriculum.

Because of changes to state testing, the district decided to move to nine-week schedules for classes.

The biggest change will be nine-week, concentrated classes rather than rotating one day a week in a 36-day rotation, Superintendent Dale Lumley said.

“It's our hope that they will have a more concentrated curriculum,” he said.

In sixth grade, the last period of the day for core enrichment will be removed. Several art and technology classes will be placed in a nine-week rotation, as opposed to 36 days.

In seventh and eighth grade, health has been moved to seventh grade, word processing will be a nine-week course and a robotics course will be added.

More state money

South Butler School District received an unexpected bump in state funding after Gov. Tom Corbett announced his budget Tuesday.

The district will receive an extra $126,000 for basic education, according to the budget, a 1.7 percent increase over last year's state funding.

Board members expressed disappointment that special education funding and Accountability Block Grants funding stayed even with last year.

South Butler receives $7.36 million for basic education, $1.4 million for special education and $129,000 in Accountability Block Grants.

The total district budget for 2012-13 is $32.9 million.

Special education funding for the district has remained flat for the past four years.

Debbie Brandstetter, director of business affairs, she did not expect any increase for 2013-14.

“We did not anticipate an increase,” she said. “But these are still very preliminary numbers.”

Board President Nelda Burd said she was concerned that the numbers could change drastically, depending on state pension reform.

“These numbers feel even more preliminary than usual,” she said.

Smartphone use considered

The board also saw a copy of a district policy for the Bring Your Own Device initiative, outlining guidelines for students to bring their own Internet-accessible devices to class.

Lumley said that the program will start with a few pilot classes in the spring.

“Students will be able to bring their own device to access the Internet under the supervision of a teacher,” he said.

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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