Students To Replace Off Period With A Fourth Class

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(FILE PHOTO/EVAN BRASHEARS)

DEVON DICKENS

With this unprecedented school year kicking off, reform for online education is already underway. Students who signed up and gained eligibility to have an off period last school year are no longer able to retain those off periods. 

According to senate bill SB-98, students must have a class engagement time of at least 240 minutes a day. While students were attending classes at school, this engagement was not an issue because even with 3 classes on campus, students still had an engagement time of 240 minutes. On campus, students had four 80 minute classes, so removing one still met the required time.

Now that distance learning exists, all 4 class periods add up to 240 minutes, not leaving enough time for students to have an off period. However, there are a few alternatives in place. 

According to RHS principal Nicholas Richter, “students who had an off period were given 3 choices.”

The first option was for students to show proof of enrollment in a college course. Due to the SB-98’s leeway for asynchronous learning, a college course would count for a student’s engagement time for the day. 

“You bring us proof of enrollment, you [don’t] need to pick up another course, we could count that as asynchronous learning and count it for your attendance,” Richter said. 

The second option was to just give up the off period and pick up a class, whether that be an academic class, being a T.A, or an elective. 

The third option was to take a study skill class. The engagement for the class is a 5-10 minute Google form where you show proof of 60 minutes worth of homework or classwork that could be counted for attendance and engagement for the day.     

“We found a solution that’s not actually impacting if [students] had picked up a job, say that starts at 12:30, which would be the start of the fourth period,” Richter said. “They’re still able to do that, just some time through the day they have to do that engagement record”