Long County High School Principal Scotty Hattaway gave the Long County Board of Education information Thursday on possibly changing the number of classes taken daily by students.
Hattaway said that currently, instructors are responsible for teaching seven 50-minute classes each day. With this number of classes, he said, many students and teachers are overwhelmed in trying to keep up with their work.
Hattaway and several other administrators are gathering information with the hopes of reducing that number by the beginning of next school year. The plan they are considering will reduce that number to four 90-minute classes.
A survey had been given to both the teachers and the students to gather input on the proposed change, Hattaway said, and the majority of the teachers and about half of the students favored it.
Hattaway said that some of the pros to making the change would include giving students more time to review for milestone tests, less preparation time for each class both by teachers and students, and that students would spend less time in the halls since there were fewer classes to attend. He said that the less time in the halls would result in less disciplinary problems.
The biggest con against making the change, he said, is that the longer classes would be more difficult to fill with classroom time.
Board member Florence Baggs said that she has concerns because a previous attempt to do this failed. She said there were several complaints, primarily by the teachers who said the classes were too long, and that after about 65 minutes, the teachers ran out of things for the students to do.
Baggs added that it appeared that the students didn’t like the change, either.
Board member Dr. Carolyn Williamson asked how the change would affect required credits for graduation; Hattaway said that that is being worked out.
Chairman Janet Watford said that if both the students and teachers are in favor of it, then she would be excited about looking into the change.
Also Thursday, Special Education Director Amy Rogers told the board that the school system will go through its five-year Southern Association of Colleges and School (SACS) evaluation March 29-April 1. System areas that will be evaluated are purpose and direction; governance and leadership; teaching and accessing for learning; resources and support system; and using results for continuous success.
Rogers introduced the school board to the Special Education System Teacher of the Year, Harriet Chapman. Rogers said Chapman is a valuable asset to the school system and was awarded for her professionalism, knowledge, attendance and ability to provide a positive learning environment.
In other business Thursday:
• LCHS band director Terry Kenny and student Lydia Kunkle went before the board with a request to consider buying new band uniforms.
• The board approved and acknowledged the recent service and petition order for the special election to raise funds for the new combination school.
• Watford reviewed an ethics agreement that all board members will be asked to sign in the future.