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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Most Sycamore High School Students, Families, Teachers Favor Flexible Schedule Plan

Katie Finlon/WNIJ
Sycamore High School in Sycamore, Ill.

Sycamore High School students have spoken: The majority are in favor of a flexible schedule during school days.

More than 80 percent of all Sycamore High School students, families and teachers say they would be in favor of a flexible schedule during school days. That’s according to survey data collected by administration recently.

Tim Carlson, principal of Sycamore High School, says he is all for anything that could better prepare students for the modern workforce, especially when it comes to teaching kids how to better manage their free time.

“There’s no workplace in the world where you go and you sit for 50 minutes, and then you get five minutes off, sit for 50 minutes, get five minutes off, sit for 50 minutes, get five minutes off,” Carlson said. “I mean, that’s not how it works.”

Scott Bloomquist is the assistant regional office of education superintendent for Boone and Winnebago counties. He says he’s not aware of any schools in his area that have a similar scheduling arrangement that Sycamore High School is aiming for.

Bloomquist says he agrees that schools should look into more ways to evolve modern education, even if those changes can be difficult for school districts.

“Anything that schools can do to, again, try to increase attendance, increase motivation of kids to be in school,” Bloomquist said. “And ultimately, I think, if we have increased attendance and increased motivation, you’re going to see an increase in student performance.”

Sycamore school officials say they are looking at several college-style class scheduling models, like in schools in Iowa and North Dakota. They say the next step is to discuss the data during a school board meeting on Jan. 16.

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