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February 21, 2019

1/24/2019 2:45:00 PM
Palestine High considering changing to seven-period day
Daily News

Class schedules at Palestine High School might look different in the future.

Principal Tangi Waldrop told the Unit 3 school board Tuesday PHS is considering dropping from an eight-period day to a seven-period day.

Waldrop said this new format could add 12 more minutes to each period and allow labs, such as culinary arts, more time to complete daily lessons.

"It is a better utilization, I think, of our day," Waldrop said. "It would also give us the same amount of time and free time."

Waldrop also hopes that this schedule could aid the transition of higher level junior-high students to the high school for orientation into home economic courses.

By the time those students graduate they could be eligible for a sanitation license, which would help thing get a job in kitchen work.

On a final note, Waldrop said freshman and sophomores will register for the 2019-20 school year on the same night this summer, while juniors and seniors will register for classes another night.

Superintendent Chris Long said there is still one vacancy available for school board's April election. The final day to declare as a candidate by write in is Thursday, Jan. 31.

Long also reported a savings of around $800 to $1,000 in switching e-rate procedures for the district. E-rate is a government program that gives funding for communications.

Palestine Grade School principal Jessica Sisil said that the fourth grade class will be participating in swimming lessons from Feb. 11 to 25.

Sisil also announced some highlights of the district's Title 1 programs, after the fiscal year budget for Illinois Public Schools showed a general funds total of over $15 billion.

"The biggest need for us right now is for the pre-school," Sisil said.

Personnel plans for the programs include a title 1 teacher, two aides, seven after school tutors and a book club instructor. The school's book club is currently at 7:30 a.m. every Wednesday.

Sisil also expressed a need for parent involvement, which is also part of the program's plan.

There are about 54 students who will be given take-home backpacks. The school will also host special nights at the school, on dates to be determined, including non-fiction night, fall reading night, reading and ag night, family trivia night, Title 1 author visits, reading connection letters and a Title 1 stakeholders meeting.

"We want to help them help us," Sisil said.

Technology will also be an important innovation for the program. A total of 32 iPads with OtterBox cases will be used for kindergarten and first grade students. Audiobooks and PlayAways will also be available for use thanks to the school's library. Lego education and chromebooks will also be part of the program.

Kindergarten through eighth grade teachers will also have laptops available for use.

Various teachers, directors and principals will also be sent to conferences, where they will be able to discover other projects and items that can be used for the program.

This year's high school prom will take place at PHS in May. Time of the event is expected to be from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Waldrop voiced her pleasure of the changes to the high school's gym. Repairs, a new sound system and a new stage curtain have given the facility a new look, bringing new life to the gym.

"A lot of man and woman hours and gone into it," Waldrop said. "It's nice to see the building coming back to life."

In other business, the board destroyed the closed session recordings as allowed per law and released closed session minutes from September and December.

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