Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Board Votes Unanimously to Place One School on Year-Round Schedule

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Board Votes Unanimously to Place One School on Year-Round Schedule

Article excerpt

Only one Francis Howell school will switch from regular to year-round scheduling next year.

The Francis Howell School Board voted 7-0 Thursday night to place Henderson Elementary School on the district's four-cycle system next year but keep three other schools considered earlier for the system on a regular schedule.

The Francis Howell School District uses a system in some schools of four year-around cycles, in which three sets of students are in school at any given time. The four-cycle system allows schools to accept larger enrollments than they could handle under a regular schedule.

Henderson will join three other schools, Castlio, Central and Fairmount elementary schools, which already are using the four-cycle system.

A staff report shows that the projected enrollment at Henderson would require 36 classrooms to accommodate students under a regular schedule. The school has 32 classrooms, including one portable classroom already in use.

However, three other schools considered for a similar switch at the board's meeting Nov. 4 were not changed.

Becky-David, Harvest Ridge and John Weldon elementary schools will remain on a regular schedule by making changes in programs to allow for more students.

The board took the vote after a long discussion of the problems that remaining on a regular schedule would pose.

A report lists the cost of more employees and higher operating expenses created by the switch to year-around classes among its reasons for recommending maintenance of a regular schedule at the three schools.

But board member Carol Stampley said other factors, such as increases in class sizes and the effect of crowded conditions, mitigated any cost savings the district might see as the result of not having to operate the schools in the summer.

"Money is not what's driving this choice," Stampley said.

She said the cost of adding teacher's aides and purchasing additional classroom materials would use much of the savings projected in the report as a result of not moving to four cycles at the other schools.

Stampley also questioned a recommendation to move a program for young children out of its classrooms at John Weldon Elementary - to make room for more students in kindergarten through fifth grade. …

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