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St. Francis lauds alternate day schedule

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What are the benefits of the “alternate school day” schedule?

Consistent feedback from school boards throughout Ontario indicates the following benefits of an alternate school day schedule:

•more time for instruction;

•a more settled day, especially in the last block;

•fewer discipline problems;

•more easily scheduled presentations by external groups;

•children eat better; and

•more flexible use of school facilities for student activities.

At St. Francis School, the balanced day now has been incorporated into its daily schedule.

“Our school days have run smoothly thus far with the benefits of the alternate schedule becoming readily apparent,” noted principal Teresa Dennis.

Perhaps the most significant benefit coming from the uninterrupted instructional periods for literacy and numeracy is that it provides students with more time to get their work done.

Administration interviewed numerous students and staff from St. Francis School, asking them how they felt about the alternate day and this is some of what they said:

•“The day feels like it goes by way faster”;

•“We get longer lunch breaks and we don’t get rushed to eat”;

•“We get longer gym periods so you get more exercise”;

•“More math in a block of time”; and

•“The thing I like about a balanced day is you get longer subjects.”

Others said there appears to be fewer interruptions in class., and that students know they need to work to the best of their ability for a block of time.

“The comments from students and staff speak for themselves, and we are pleased with the smooth transition,” said Dennis.

“We will continue to monitor our changes here at St. Francis over the year to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of children,” she pledged.

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