Transition to 8-period day delayed an additional year

By on December 27, 2010

by Maggie Brundige, Editor
and Lexi Roach, Reporter

Kaneland—On Oct. 24, Kaneland High School’s administration recommended to the School Board that the switch to an eight-period day be delayed until the 2012-13 school year. The proposal also included changes to graduation requirements, reducing required credits from 28 to 22.

The Krier collected questions about the schedule change from students and posed questions to Dr. Greg Fantozzi, principal, and Cynthia Violett, director of counseling, to find out the details.

Q: Why has the district postponed the eight-period day until 2012-13?
A: “We had a significant meeting (on Oct. 20) discussing the schedule … after the reviews of the student surveys, we decided that in math, science and foreign language, students might not be able to reach the highest potential level in that particular subject,” Fantozzi said.

Q: If the amount of students meeting the science benchmarks on the PSAE is lower than in all other subjects, why is the science requirement changing from three credits to two?
A: “Because you can fit less classes in (an eight-period day). Our numbers show 83 percent of our students go to college, so 80 percent will have to take three years of science for college. Graduation requirements are only the minimum; students can always take more,” Violett said.

Q: Will the new graduation requirements be binding to the current freshmen and sophomores?
A: “There will have to be a transition that happens in the future with the freshmen and sophomore classes, but that is yet to be developed,” Fantozzi said.

Q: Will the total number of classes a student can take decrease?
A: “Yes, because students can now fit a lunch/study hall into their schedule. Students in the new schedule can take a maximum of seven credits, and block schedule can do eight credits a year,” Violett said.

Q: Will the number of electives that students can take decrease?
A: “Yes. The number of electives will go from nine to five. Now, the requirement is two years for science instead of three. Students will rely on their counselors to help them get to college,” Violett said.

Q: What happens if a student fails a core class? Will summer school be instituted? How will it be paid for?
A: “There will be a need for some type of summer school. The decision of summer school is budget driven, (so) if the district can financially afford summer school, then it may considered to be an option. There has been talk of a pay-as-you-go summer school,” Fantozzi said.
“If a kid fails a class, they can’t take it again that year if it is a (1.0 credit) class. They will have to go to summer school at Waubonsee Community College. Plans for the future is to have our own summer school,” Violett said.

Q: How many teachers, if any, do you expect to be cut?
A: “My anticipation and hope is that we will not cut any teachers. There will be a new principal when this goes into effect, and we are hoping this conflict with state funding is resolved by then … (Superintendent) Dr. (Jeff) Schuler is committed to protect the integrity of the staff. There are predicted to be 1,500 students enrolled at KHS in the next couple years, so money will be needed to keep and hire more teachers,” Fantozzi said.

Q: Will sports and clubs be affected?
A: “There is going to be an impact in the IHSA sports, it’s unavoidable. Clubs will only be affected if they meet during STEN because a STEN will not be available, although if they meet after school they should be fine,” Fantozzi said.

Q: How will students reach classes like Spanish V, if they can’t double up anymore?
A:“It’s under discussion that there could potentially be foreign language brought to the middle school,” Fantozzi said. “It has been voted down because it is not financially feasible. Next year, we will look at schedules and see what we can do.”

Q: Kaneland currently requires 28 credits to graduate, but the proposed requirement under the new schedule is 22 credits. Why do students have to pass fewer classes to graduate?
A: “Students who aspire to go to a challenging university will always do more than the average requirement. Less classes does not mean that graduating from Kaneland will be easier,” Fantozzi said.

Q: The administration wants to meet with students and parents to discuss schedules. What is the expected reaction?
A: “I think they will be grateful for us setting aside time and to help the process. Parent and student night will be held before school starts, and it will talk about traditional schedules,” Violett said.

Current graduation

Science 3.0
English 4.5
Including 0.5 of Speech
Math 3.0
Social Studies 3.0
Including 1.0 of World Cultures, 1.0 of U.S.
History, 0.5 of Government and 0.5 of
Foundations of Democracy.
PE 3.25
Driver’s Ed 0.25
Health 0.5
CTE 1.0
Includes 0.5 of Applications of
Technology and 0.5 of Economics.
Electives 9.5
Total: 28.0

Proposed graduation requirements
Science 2.0
English 4.5
Includes 0.5 of Speech
Math 3.0
Must be taken freshman through junior year to
build continuous skills.
Social Studies 2.5
Including 1.0 of World Cultures, 1.0 of U.S.
History and 0.5 of Government. Foundations
of Democracy will be eliminated and the
curriculum will be absorbed into required courses.
PE 3.25
Driver’s Ed 0.25
Health 0.5
CTE 1.0
Includes 0.5 of Applications of
Technology and 0.5 of Economics.
Electives 5.0
Including at least 1.0 of foreign
language, CTE, or fine arts.
Total: 22.0

Compiled by: Gina Jarvis
Source: District 302

Contributions by Nick Philips.