Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 15, 2012

Classes to start earlier at THS next year

TAHLEQUAH —  

Tahlequah High School students may have to stumble out of bed much earlier if they plan to get to class on time next year.
Board members of the Tahlequah district discussed school start times during Monday night’s monthly board meeting. Superintendent Dr. Shannon Goodsell said he plans to submit a proposal next month that would move the high school start time back to 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.
Zero-hour classes would begin at about 7:05 a.m., which THS Principal Jeff Thorne said is a former practice of the district. And students who participate in zero hour are those who are already motivated to take other electives, such as sports, he said.
Goodsell said the time change is needed for several reasons.
“No. 1 is travel time,” said Goodsell. “Our athletic conference is a long way off, and our students often have to leave their fifth-hour class to make those athletic events, and the problem is that sometimes, those are some important classes; they are [End of Instruction-tested] subjects, and it becomes a problem.”
Goodsell said a so-called “10-day rule” also becomes an issue for students, who fail a class by default if they miss 10 times.
“The other one for us – and this is a big one for both Mr. Thorne and myself – is that our 9 o’clock start time is not conducive for our students who want to attend in the career-tech system; it just simply is prohibitive for them,” said Goodsell. “Our master schedule is hindering their ability to go and get a certification that’s going to help them get a job upon graduation, and we really need to coincide that schedule with the schedule they have at Indian Capital [Technology Center]. We have seen a dramatic decline in the number of high school students who are going to those programs, not because of desire, but because of our schedule, and I find that a problem.”

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