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School Board Talks High School Scheduling

Rising enrollment could prompt changes in a few years.

Lower Merion school board members heard community survey results on Monday that indicated strong support for the current class-scheduling system for the two high schools but also concern over the need to account for growing enrollment.

Former Harriton High School principal Steven Kline began the meeting with a presentation on the results of over 1,900 surveys from students, faculty and parents.

The survey results displayed overwhelming support for the current hybrid model class schedule of high schools in Lower Merion school district, which includes five key features which were reviewed.

The five key features of the schedule which were reviewed are:

  • Advisory/activity period
  • Teacher collaboration time
  • Lunch for all students
  • Rotation of periods
  • All classes not meeting everyday

However, there are some areas of concern with the current schedule for the school board to consider for the future based on the survey results.

Because of the projected increase in enrollment of Lower Merion schools, the current schedule will only work until the 2015-2016 school year, according to officials. After that year, it will be necessary to have a mandatory lunch period for all students.

Another area of concern with the schedule is the amount of instructional time teachers have with each class due to classes not meeting every day. According to the research presented by Kline, not meeting for a class each day allows the students more time to process past lessons and decreases the amount of classes they will have to prepare for each evening.

In other school board business:

  • The district received a check for $141,000 from PECO to recognize accomplishments in energy-saving practices.
  • The board approved the Squash Program Agreement through 2015.
  • The board approved the Course Proposal for Advanced Placement Economics and the purchase of textbooks.
  • The Communication Committee reported the district's new website is likely to be online by the end of the year.

The full agenda of the meeting is available here. The next board meeting is the reorganization session at 8 p.m. Dec. 3.

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