Citing that 25 percent of middle school students don’t have access to their full potential, the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District is considering bumping up from eight to nine periods in a school day at the middle school, but doing so could mandate an earlier start time for some students.
Alfred G. Prodell Middle School Principal Kevin Vann said at the Jan. 7 board meeting the middle school program committee has come to the conclusion a nine-period school day would mean students have additional time for electives, for specific classes like earth science or for more students to participate in clubs or in musical classes, which would be moved into the middle of the day if the board were to accept the proposal. The principal added that such a change will allow students to free up time for further electives once they enter high school.
Vann said according to their data, 25 percent of the overall middle school students are currently unable to participate in activities they would otherwise be able to with the additional period. Other neighboring districts like Three Village, Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai all have nine-period days in the middle schools.
With the change however, all students would need to be in the school during the early morning period of 7:20 a.m. Currently students taking one of the musical electives or seeking extra help come in during that time.
The board will also need to look at the cost and potential impacts of such a change before coming to a decision further down the line.