MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The School Board of Martin County voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the school day by five minutes at county high schools.
Under the measure, Martin County High School, South Fork High School, and Jensen Beach High School will be in session until 3:05 p.m. Dismissal is currently at 3 p.m. at all three schools.
“In the end we’re looking for a five minute extension of the high school day to be able to move from a modified block schedule in our high school to a seventh period traditional day,” said Dr. Tracey Miller, the chief academic officer for the district.
Miller says principals approached the district about updating the daily schedule. It will now include seven 50-minute periods instead of the current 100-minute classes.
“I think it would definitely be an improvement to everyday because with the blocks it’s kind of hard to keep up sometimes because you don’t always see your teachers everyday,” said Sabine Rudolph, a freshman at Jensen Beach High School.
Educators say the extra five minutes built into the day would allow students to change classes more often, and having seven periods will help teachers have more time for planning lessons.
“The purpose really is to allow students to meet with each instructor every single day rather than meeting sometime every day sometimes every other day depending on the course,” Miller said.
According to the school district's website, the goals of extending the day by five minutes would also be to:
- Increase the Martin County School District's score in the Florida Department of Education Grading System
- Increase learning gains among students
- Increase graduation rates
- Increase satisfaction and engagement of students, employees, parents, and community members
- Increase budget reserves
The change will take effect in the 2020-2021 school year.