The Waterford School District has implemented some changes for the 2012-13 school year schedule that will mean a slightly longer school day for some students.
Beginning with the new school year, the schedules at Waterford Kettering and Mott high schools will be adjusted from the current six-period block schedule to a seven-period day, including a period for Academic Center work that will count as a credited course where students can receive academic support, as well as test preparation, college or career advising, and structured work time.
As a result, class times at the high schools will be 50 minutes. In order to provide the instruction in a seven-period day, the school day will be extended by 23 minutes.
Middle school students will also see a 23-minute lengthening of their school day, and elementary students will see 13 minutes added to their school day. The district states this is being done to ensure equity and to maintain a gap between starting and ending times to accommodate transportation.
All students in ninth- through 12th-grade will be required to take Academic Center as one of their seven classes, with an exception applying to students in grades 10-12 who are scheduled to graduate on time, have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and have no failing or incomplete grades in the previous semester.
Those students can then take a seventh class in place of Academic Center.
The district states that this will allow students to earn up to 28 credits in four years, with the number of credits required to graduate remaining at 24.
In addition, the district states that it will be scheduling regular time for teacher collaboration and professional development in order to improve professional practices and enhance student learning.
As a result, all students will see a one-hour early release on Thursdays and the district will not need to use the six half-days for professional development that are currently part of the yearly calendar.