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Lawrence students' class load to increase

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — High school students in Lawrence County next year will have seven classes per day instead of four.

The policy change was part of related modifications the Board of Education approved Monday evening.

The school board approved 4-1 a motion to eliminate early-dismissal for students not involved in dual-enrollment or the community cooperative program.

Board member Beth Vinson opposed the motion.

Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said during the board's March meeting that the school system would have to switch from a block schedule to a seven-class school day if the school board decided to get rid of the early-dismissal program.

By approving its elimination, the board indirectly approved the schedule change.

Early dismissal allows seniors to leave school if no required courses remain for them to take. In most school systems, students fill their schedule with elective courses, but a lack of resources keeps Lawrence County schools from offering many electives.

Under the current block system, high school students have four 96-minute classes each day. The classes last only one semester, allowing students to take eight courses each year.

The policy change will schedule students for seven classes, about 50 minutes each, per day. The classes will last two semesters.

Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said that a seven-period day would free teachers to offer more courses.

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