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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Block scheduling toppled by North Putnam board

Monday, April 23, 2007

(Photo)
A black light provides an eerie look to South Putnam seventh graders Christina Calloway, Kelsey Heller and Ali Torr, along with Putnam County Health Nurse Ann Weatherford as they learn the importance of good handwashing. The light showed places on their hands where they needed to wash. The demonstration was part of a recent health fair for students.
Block scheduling is out at North Putnam Middle School and traditional scheduling is back in, following a decision by the school board Thursday night.

Board members voted unanimously Thursday night to do away with block scheduling at the middle school based on a recommendation by Supt. Murray Pride.

Block scheduling is similar to college scheduling where classes are conducted twice or three times a week, rather than every day. The middle school has been doing it for several years, according to Pride.

Pride said he wanted to go back to traditional five-day-a-week classes to help reduce class sizes and benefit students at the same time.

"I feel that educationally, having math every day is better than every other day," Pride told parents in the audience who questioned the decision.

Parent Missy Robinson said she has a child in the middle school and is worried how they will adjust to the change. She expressed her concerns to the board.

Middle School Principal Mike Wilcox said he supported doing away with block scheduling in order to bring down class sizes.

Pride said the change is supported by most teachers and administrators at the middle school.

"I felt, from my conversations, that they were ready to do it," Pride said of the teachers and staff.

The high school could also see a change in the future, but Principal Alan Zerkel said things are poised to stay the same for now.

"The periods are very long and that concerns us," Zerkel said, adding that a change may be considered at the end of the semester next year.

Pride added, "Right now that's not my recommendation (to do away with block scheduling at the high school), but I think we're open to lots of things."

In other business, the school board:

  • Recognized Bain-bridge Elementary students who were district champions in the Indiana Math Bowl Competition. The team also placed sixth in the state.

  • Learned that the 2006-07 school years will be extended by one day due to the large number of snow days this year. Students will now have to come back to school on Tuesday, May 29. It has not been determined if seniors will have to attend.

  • Approved textbooks for next year.

  • Approved summer programs for the school, such as band and sports activities.

  • Approved buying new computer and other equipment for Bainbridge and Roachdale elementaries at a cost of $268,000.

  • Approved the athletic handbook.

  • Approved the schedule of summer clinics.

  • Approved plans for this year's post prom activities.

    The North Putnam School Board meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the corporation headquarters in Bainbridge.



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