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School board detailing next year's alternative calendar

The details concerning next year’s four-day school week is being ironed out by the Haakon School Board.

At the December 20 meeting, some tentative specifics were voiced from varying groups. Leaving the block scheduling and going to a seven class per day schedule seems likely, desired especially by the student body. Also likely, but voiced mostly by the teaching staff, are two to three study halls scheduled throughout the day. Kindergarten would still be three days per week in town and two days per week in the rural schools.

A working model of the times has the school day beginning at 7:50 a.m. and going to 3:40 p.m. This would include a 20-minute lunch. Teachers would begin work at 7:30 and leave at 4:10 each day. The working model would include two years to include alternating classes and any variances from one year to the next. Of course, all details must be acceptable with the state and the NCA.

Possible uses, if any, for Fridays might include individual tutoring. Such an offer would not be for only those students who constantly struggle, but also for all students who may need help with isolated concepts. A rare five day week may occur on such occasions as homecoming week.

Further discussion on the four-day week was tabled until the next meeting.

Other school board discussion included a cost-sharing plan between the school district and the City of Philip for elections. A reduction in voting precincts would assist this plan, which has been used in the past. Sharing the cost with simultaneous elections will save money for both entities.

A proposal for further research for a part-time industrial arts program to be re-implemented was discussed. Doug Hauk teaches a class which includes some woodworking, but no one teaches just industrial arts. When the last industrial arts instructor retired, the entire subject was discontinued.

A waiver is being requested so that Algebra I, offered in eighth grade, can be used as one of the required high school math classes. There is a regular math class for eighth grade, but Algebra I is an elective before freshman year.

The board approved Barb Bowen’s request to be transferred from K-12 computer to K-12 music for the 2005-06 school year.

In keeping with the continual updating of textbooks, the English department texts for next year have been determined, and will be ordered from McGraw-Hill.

The end of the first semester will be January 14. The Prairie Expo will be January 22. January 17 will be a technical workshop in-service as well as the next school board meeting at the Philip High School. Take note that the time will be at 6:00 p.m.