School Board approves Trimesters

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Switzerland County High School will go to a trimester schedule next year, after the Switzerland County School Board approved the plan at its meeting last week.

Under the new design, high school students will have three 12-week trimesters, rather than the traditional two 18-week semesters. Nine week grading periods will be replaced by mid-term grade reports.

The move does not affect the middle school or either elementary school; which will all stay on the traditional scheduling.

The advantage to the trimester schedule is that students will now take only five classes per day rather than the seven that they take now. Each class will be longer, which will give teachers more time with the students for things such as experiments, class projects, and remediation if needed.

The new scheduling will also give students more flexibility in their schedules, because they will now take 15 classes per year – five in each of the three trimesters; rather than the 14 that they take now – seven in each semester.

That’s four additional classes that a student will be able to take during their high school career, which will give students more of an opportunity to explore some non-traditional classes that they may not have been able to take under the old system because of the need to schedule required classes.

High school principal Candis Haskell told the school board that she had also been working with middle school principal Nancy Stearns about continuing to share staff; and that neither principal saw any problem with that practice continuing.

“They’ve certainly done their homework,” superintendent Darin Gullion told the school board of the high school staff.