DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Students at Decatur public high schools will feel some changes when they come back to the classroom this year.
They’ve changed their bell schedules–hoping it could help their students be more successful. This fall, high school students will come to school a little earlier but also get out earlier.
This change will not only help to get students who participate in after-school activities home earlier, but also give kids the opportunity to do more of what they want. In the past, students had to sit through six periods that were an hour-long. Now, they will have seven shorter classes, which is to help students focus better.
This all comes after district students brought the idea to the table as part of the Superintendent Youth Advisory Committee. Now school staff says the students are excited to see their idea come to life. “The students meet with the superintendent and they throw ideas at him and this idea has kind of been in the works the last couple years. So they’re quite excited to see this come to light because a lot of times kids have ideas and they don’t turn into anything,” said Rebecca Kern, assistant principal at MacArthur High School.
Along with seven periods, there is also a 30-minute “focus” period. It’s designed to provide students with any type of help they need from social/emotional support to extra tutoring.
Teachers will also benefit from this new schedule. On Wednesdays, students will get out of school an hour early. School staff will use that extra hour to work together on professional development. Students will be back in the classroom starting August 14.