Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna unveiled plans for changing the average school day at Glen Cove High School from eight periods to nine at the Feb. 13 Board of Education meeting. If the change is approved, it will be effective during the 2019-20 school year. The district has used nine-period days in the past but changed high schoolers’ schedules to eight periods during the 2011-12 school year.
Why nine periods?
Rianna advocated that nine-period days would benefit a variety of learners, those that need extra help with a particular subject and the students who wish to take additional classes.
She offered an example of how and why the extra period would be beneficial. If a student is taking algebra and is having trouble grasping it, she said, they could take a lab that would offer additional help. The hope is that the student would then pass the course without having to hire a tutor or drop out and sign up for a less challenging course.
The labs would alternate, focusing on different subjects on any given day. Rianna did say that the scheduling of lab courses is in the formative stage.
With the additional ninth period, students who wish to add credits or explore a topic which they find interesting would no longer have to forego their lunch period. This extra period would allow for these students to have a full lunch period.
What’s being considered for a nine-period day
There are a pair of key factors the district will consider when making its decision on the nine-period day — how it will be implemented and student enrollment.
One avenue to fill the extra period would be to have guidance counselors, who traditionally work with students to create their schedules, encourage them to sign up for an extra class.
Although the district has not yet finalized how it would implement the extra period, options are being considered. One possibility would be to take a few minutes out of each period in order to create space for one more. Or an extra period could be added to the end of the day. With the latter, certain teachers would work periods one through eight, and others, periods two through nine.
The district will have to wait until the 2019-20 school budget is finalized before making a final decision on the nine-period day. Additional coursework will require additional staff, which would equate to the hiring of five or six full-time teachers. According to Rianna, this could result in the need for an extra $540,000 to $620,000 for salaries.
The Glen Cove City School District Board of Education will meet next on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Gribbin Elementary School.