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Six-period day nixed by Frazee

FRAZEE - Due to some "main stumbling blocks," Frazee-Vergas School Principal Brian Koslofsky recommended against a proposed six-period day at the school. The school board accepted his recommendation.

As in any situation, there are plusses and minuses to each side of the coin.

For the seven-period day, under which the school currently operates, there would be a higher number of electives for students and the school would offer band and choir the same hour for students that would like to take both.

Some of the downfalls could be more teachers losing their jobs due to "right" sizing, or downsizing. Also, some electives may be offered every other year.

As for a six-hour period, it would eliminate the need to make cuts in some areas due to reducing the numbers of hours available. Band and choir could once again be offered at the same hour so students could take both if interested.

On the flipside, it would also cause ninth graders and sophomores to have to choose between band/choir and Spanish.

Future challenges could include ninth grade requirements for physical education and requirements in the business class MicroSoft office.

Koslofsky said sustainability is "one of the main issues of concern."

If staff had to be cut for financial reasons, he said, the district would have to go back to a seven-period day.

Another question came with the statement that Frazee is a three-section high school, rather than a four section one. Section status is determined by enrollment numbers.

Koslofsky said with an average of 70 students per class, that breaks down to a three-section school. He said some core classes are taught in four sections, however.

After several months of research, Koslofsky said he felt the district should stay with the seven-period day.

One successful change that was made in the school district and is all day, every day kindergarten.

Instructor Julie Wirth told school board members Monday night that teachers "in the fall noticed children were used to coming to school every day," she said.

She added that they came in, were more settled down and ready to learn in first grade since they had experienced that in kindergarten.

Gaps in abilities among students, she said, were already identified as well. For example, in reading, teachers may not know until first grade where the gaps are in reading, but since the students were coming every day, teachers could see those gaps in kindergarten and take care of them earlier.

She said it has been both "exciting and challenging" with the students during the switch, but an overall success nonetheless.