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Block scheduling mapped out

Red Wing School Board members on Monday got their first look at what administrators say next year's middle- and high-school schedules will resemble.

The board in November approved a reconfiguration plan that will send fifth-graders to Twin Bluff Middle School and eighth-graders to Red Wing High School. The plan goes into effect for the 2010-11 school year.

That will include block scheduling at both schools, administrators said Monday. At the high school, regular class days will be spent in 80-minute blocks. High school Principal Beth Borgen said teachers will end up seeing fewer students in a day under the new system, which eliminates study halls and cuts down on passing time.

School Board member Stephen O'Keefe worried that with almost five hours between the first bell and lunch that student nutrition might suffer.

"For some kids, that's going to be a big issue," he said.

The middle school will see a mix of 42- and 84-minute long classes, a departure from the current 44-minute class.

Supt. Stan Slessor said the move to block scheduling at the middle school will mean social studies instruction receiving the short shrift as administrators focus on smaller science classes. He noted that science will soon join math and English as areas measured under state testing guidelines.