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Waynesboro School Board considering block scheduling

April 09, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Block scheduling, doubling the time students at Waynesboro Area Senior High School stay in each class, is back on the minds of the Waynesboro School Board.

The board heard the benefits of the scheduling method for more than two hours Thursday night from the principal and three faculty members of Lebanon (Pa.) High School. That district introduced block scheduling four years ago.

Larry Bricker, principal of Waynesboro Area Senior High School and a proponent of block scheduling, said it would provide the flexibility needed for the school to better serve all students.

He said pending state-mandated curriculum changes will require more blocks of classroom time for students. "We can't do it on our current seven-period days," he said.

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Kenneth Marwitz, principal of Lebanon High School, said students in his school do better academically and create fewer discipline problems with block scheduling.

Instead of spending their school day in seven or eight 40-minute periods, they take their lessons in fewer but more intensive classes that last 80 minutes each.

"Our honor roll doubled, attendance is up and behavior has improved," he said.

Marwitz said it is easier for new teachers coming out of college to adjust to the longer classes. More experienced teachers have a harder time because they are used to lecturing for their 40-minute classes, he said.

Tim Mackey, 16, and Larry Cramer, 15, both Waynesboro Area High School sophomores, sat through most of the presentation Thursday. They said they had mixed feelings about block scheduling.

Mackey said it could be a plus in classes such as technical education and art in which students sometimes have 30 minutes of class and 10 minutes of cleanup. The board has not announced when it will decide on block scheduling.

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