St. Francis Middle School schedule to change next year

There are some big changes in store for St. Francis Middle School students in the coming school year.

When school starts in the fall, the school will be switching from a five-period day to a seven-period day, said Principal Dale Johnson.

This will be the second time in recent history the school has adjusted how many class periods it offers.

“Two years ago we moved from a seven-period day to a five-period day.” Johnson said.

The change was made to be more in sync with the high school schedule, he said.

While the change worked well, the new schedule is being made for the new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program that the school will be starting in the 2014-2015 school year, according to Johnson.

This year’s fourth-graders are all in a STEM-focused program and the middle school schedule has been changed to add additional STEM classes to continue that line of programming, he said.

Rather than wait for the 2014-2015 to make the changes, it was decided the school will make the adjustment next year, Johnson said.

Currently, the middle schoolers only take science and social studies for two out of the three trimesters.

The sixth-graders have art and computer technology during the remaining third trimester, the seventh-graders have health and industrial technology and the eighth-graders are in world culture and family and consumer science, Johnson said.

“With the new schedule, science and social studies will be year-round,” he said.

World cultures will be eliminated and the eighth-graders will be taking a hybrid of industrial tech/STEM, Johnson said.

The students and teachers will also be losing some of the advantages the current schedule allows: longer class periods and less classes.

Class periods will be reduced from 66 minutes to 51 minutes and teachers will be working with more kids because of the expanded schedule, he said.

Some of the teachers will likely be adding STEM curriculum into their class rooms next year, but it will not be the full-fledged program, Johnsn said.

There will also two teachers missing from the schedule next year.

With the expected enrollment drop of 55 students, two teachers positions were eliminated, Johnson said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]