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Fredonia High School Principal Terry Redman is hoping a proposed class-scheduling change will reduce stress on students and teachers and allow more quality learning time.

About 50 persons gathered Tuesday in the high school auditorium to hear a plan to implement a block-scheduling program for high school students next fall. Redman said the state Department of Education and the district's superintendent have recommended that schools use different scheduling to help all students meet the new Regents requirements.

The proposed block schedule offers a daily advisement period that students can use as a study hall or to meet with teachers for additional help.

One teacher described the block schedule as "taking one day and putting it into two days."

Class periods would be up to 80 minutes long. Band, orchestra, chorus, gym and science labs would be shorter and lunch period would be 25 minutes.

The block schedule would allow higher-achieving students to take as many as nine classes, Redman said.

The block schedule will likely increase the length of the school day. Redman said a starting time of 7:40 a.m., with a dismissal time of 2:17 p.m., is being considered.

"We would be taking the 7:35 to 7:50 unsupervised time and put students where they would be getting their day started," he said.

Some of the reported advantages to block scheduling were increased "focused learning" and reduced stress by lowering the number of classes and homework for each day. Additionally, students would have a little more time in-between classes.

"We have some concerns and reservations, but we really think this is better than what we have," teacher Michelle Bogardus said.

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