Block scheduling being replaced with a six period day

Ellie Bennett, Assistant Editor in Chief

A day and B day is something that most students have grown use to as Fenton High school and Middle school have had this type of schedule for the past 20 years. With the recent cuts that the district has made the decision to cut block scheduling for the 2018-19 school year.

“The news of the transition was not good news for many and I understand change is tough,” Superintendent Adam Hartley said. “I am confident that by working together, staff, students and parents, we will come out of this as strong, if not stronger than ever before. There are many points of pride that FAPS has and transitioning to a six period day does not change that. We will be working in the next few months to develop the new schedule and will be communicating with our families throughout the process.”

As freshman normally only have one elective, with the schedule change being made, freshman might not have an elective at all.

“There are a few options depending on what a student takes in eighth grade,” Hartley said. “We are looking at other ways for freshman to possibly earn credit so there are elective options. A possible example would be if an incoming freshman wanted to take a band elective, they could take an online class during the summer to gain high school credit. This is something we are working on as we set new graduation requirements due to less classes during a student’s four years. Details to come.”

Some find the change sudden but the idea to cut block has been up in the air for the last year and was finally made official this year as the district needs to get the savings account back on track.

“Last year, negotiations started with the teachers and we worked together to look at the historical and present state of our financial situation,” Hartley said. “All areas were looked at and what ultimately became clear is that the cost of the block schedule was not balanced with the fact we are a base foundation school district. We receive the minimum amount of dollars from the state per pupil. When enrollment is not rising while the cost to do business is, it depletes the fund balance and it becomes difficult to stay above water. We are on the state fiscal distress list and working with the state on a plan to bring our fund balance to 5%. We must restructure our staffing model to balance the difference in rising costs over the years. Waiting another year would not allow us to restructure and invest in things like new curriculum and materials.”

The new six period day is estimated to cost the district almost 1 million dollars less than the present A day/B day model. With the other changes that the district has made in the last two years they hope to bring the savings account percent up.