Failed Referendum Could Result in Bemidji High School Schedule Change
Bemidji High School could potentially see a schedule change after the school district is facing what they say is severe budget shortfall. This is in response to a failed referendum this past November, resulting in the loss of a potential $1.5 million in the district’s revenue.
Now with changes having to be made to cut the district’s costs, a potential switch in Bemidji High School class schedule could be made. Right now, BHS is on a four-period schedule, and according to Superintendent Tim Lutz, the schedule is expensive to maintain. An analysis has determined that ISD 31 can save approximately 10% of the cost to run a four-period day by moving to a six-period day due to the schedule structure that offers more class periods. A change to a six-period day is projected to save the district $640,000.
Lutz states that only a very small percent of high schools in the state remain on a block system and is recommending this change as a way to preserve the district’s general operating budget.
However, over 1,500 people have already signed a petition that states the change from a four-period schedule to a six-period schedule will negatively impact students’ education.
Alya Nimis-Ibrahim, who created the petition, writes, “The change from a 4-period to 6-period school day would offer Bemidji High School students two less credits per year (6 instead of 8), amounting to 8 less credits over the course of our high school education (24 instead of 32). This change would drastically decrease the amount of electives students can take. We ask that the school board take the time to examine all other options before reducing opportunities available to Bemidji High School students.”
The school board will be meeting on Monday, January 25 to address this matter.