Faribault Schools Education Center

Faribault Public Schools Superintendent Todd Sesker stops by KDHL to talk about a proposal for the high school to go to a seven period day.  Sesker will be a guest on AM Minnesota from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  The seven period day discussion has been going on for quite some time in Faribault.

Like everything in life there are pros and cons to the seven period school day.  While researching for the program today I came upon a editorial submitted by a retired teacher and former multi-term member of the Fayette County Board of Education in Fayetteville, Georgia.  Marion Key was most recently the chair of that Board of Education.

In this editorial Key says in 2014 the Board of Education was asked to consider implementing a mandatory seven period day at all their high schools.  She says, "with many reservations, the board gave approval with the caveat that the faculty and staff at each high school (not the principal) would determine which organizational structure was in the best interest of their school."

She goes on to state, "The board did not want 'cookie cutter' schools.  The board wanted what was in the best interest of each school."

There are five high schools in Fayette County.  Classes at four of the schools ran 50 minutes.  One of the high schools (McIntosh) opted to stay on a six period day with an optional seventh period called zero period.  Classes there ran 60 minutes.

Key points out,"The six period day provides students with an extra 50 minutes of instruction in each class each week and over a year's time, an extra five weeks of instruction.  There is time in class to support struggling students and accelerate successful ones.  There is also time in class to start homework assignments under the supervision of the teacher."

Key asked if the seven period day "increases stress on students."  She asks, "If a student is struggling to pass six classes, how can that student pass seven?"

"Students with excellent grades are allowed to opt out of the seventh class.  Would it not make more sense to allow weak students to opt out?"

Some interesting points made by a individual who has looked at this from both the classroom and school board perspectives.