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updated: 3/6/2013 7:21 PM

Glenbard adjusting school day to help struggling students

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Glenbard High School District 87 plans to adjust its school day schedule starting in the fall to allow students struggling academically to get extra help.

Those students would be able to get additional academic support during an extended lunch period that is proposed for all four district schools.

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Lunch periods are 25 minutes, but would become full 48-minute periods to allow time for students to attend group study sessions, visit the test center to make up work or meet with guidance counselors, officials said.

Members of the Glenbard Education Association, the union representing 580 teachers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, librarians, counselors and department chairs throughout the district, voted Wednesday to approve the school schedule change, according to union president Tom Tully.

"Many staff members believe this is a great opportunity for several of our students who aren't experiencing support," said Rod Molek, assistant superintendent for human resources and student services. "Right now the school day doesn't have the opportunity for that to happen."

All class periods would be 48 minutes instead of the existing 50 minutes. The schedule changes also would mean earlier start times: five minutes earlier at North, East and West, and 10 minutes earlier at South.

In the end, that will mean North and East will start at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:30 p.m., and South and West will start at 7:35 a.m. and dismiss at 2:35 p.m.

The times vary because Glenbard bus schedules are affected by the schedules of elementary feeder districts, Molek said.

The changes would mean 41 fewer hours of classroom time annually, but 67 hours of additional academic support for students annually, officials said.

The changes wouldn't have an impact on the so-called zero-hour period, in which some students arrive early to take physical education to free time up during the regular school day for additional classes.

The school board will vote on the new schedule March 18.

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