By Don Groves
The Albany Ledger
Albany High School students may soon have more elective classes from which to choose.
AHS guidance counselor Alan Gottula presented a proposal to move from a seven-period to an eight-period schedule he and high school principal Tim Beydler created at the Albany R-III Board of Education’s June 17 meeting.
Gottula said moving to an eight-period schedule would give students the opportunity to take additional classes that would help prepare them for post-secondary education. He said teachers would teach seven courses instead of six each day.
Gottula said the district could add an additional class period without changing its start and end times by cutting three minutes from each existing class period to create an eighth period and replace student intervention with a study skills course. He said a study skills course could be tailored to a student’s needs. Students adept in a course such as math or English could tutor fellow students while at the same time earning volunteer hours needed for the National Honor Society or the A+ program, he said.
“There’s more opportunity for students,” he said.
Gottula also proposed increasing the district’s graduation requirements. Currently students are required to have 24 credits to graduate but could receive as many as 28 credits over four years using the seven-period day. He said the eight-period day would make it possible for students to receive a total of 32 credits.
The board is expected to continue discussing an eight-period day at its next meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Amended the district’s 2012-2013 budget after Albany superintendent John Rinehart told the board local taxes came in a bit higher than originally budgeted;
• Approved a preliminary budget for the 2013-2014 school year. Rinehart said he projected about $100,000 less in revenue than in 2012-2013. He also expressed concerns about federal funding and a state tax reform bill recently vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon;
• Declared a scoreboard from the old gym as a surplus item;
• Renewed a contract with the Area Cooperative for Educational Support in Maryville. The board discussed contracting with Northwest Medical Center to meet special education and at-risk student needs when the district’s contract with ACES expires;
• Learned that Cody Murphy, who was recently hired by the Stanberry R-II School District to teach Spanish, will teach three periods of Spanish each day in Albany; and
• Toured the middle school/high school to look at summer maintenance projects in the building.