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CROWDED JUNIOR HIGH ASKS TO IMPLEMENT PRODUCTIVITY PROGRAM

The principal of a junior high school in northeast Orem has asked the Alpine School Board for permission to implement a productivity program at the school to help it deal with an overflow of students.

Virgil E. Jacobsen, principal of Canyon View Junior High School, asked the school board earlier this month to approve a five-period, trimester program to begin in fall 1990.The board took no action on the request but is expected to vote during an upcoming meeting.

Jacobsen told the board that Canyon View, which was designed for 1,350 students, has an enrollment of 1,563 students and is expected to grow to more than 2,000 students during the next several years.

Administrators at Canyon View investigated methods of handling the school's growth problems, including use of satellite classrooms and adoption of a year-round schedule but decided the productivity schedule would best meet the needs of students, parents and faculty members, Jacobsen said.

A survey of parents of children who attend Canyon View or who will attend in the next two years was conducted during two meetings in April. Seventy-seven percent of the 106 parents at those meetings favored adoption of the productivity program; 56 percent favored use of satellite classrooms. Only 24 percent favored a year-round schedule.

Jacobsen said the productivity schedule would allow for growth through 1993, after which the school could go to a year-round or extended-day schedule, or add satellite classrooms if needed.

The proposal for Canyon View divides the school year into trimesters, with five 65-minute classes each day. Jacobsen said students would be able to complete a half-credit more of school work each year than on the semester system.

Canyon View now operates on a semester system and students take seven 45-minute classes per day.

With the productivity program, classes would increase from 32 to 34 students, but teachers would see fewer students per day - 170 vs. a current average of 245.

Jacobsen said the 65-minute class period would allow for more in-depth instruction and more time for students to get individual help from teachers.

While teachers would give up a daily preparatory period to accommodate the longer class periods, they would be allowed 15 days of compensated preparatory time during the summer. The increased class sizes and trimester system would allow the school to eliminate 10 teaching positions, Jacobsen said.

Board members raised questions about whether teachers would be less accessible with no preparatory period, what the effect on at-risk students would be, whether teachers would be able to adapt lessons to longer class periods and whether junior high students could handle longer class periods.

Models similar to that proposed for Canyon View are being used at several junior and high schools in the Cache and Box Elder school districts.

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(Additional information)

5-period, trimester schedule

With projected enrollment of 2,000 in a school built for 1,350, Canyon View Junior High in northeast Orem is considering a different schedule for the 1990-91 year.

Benefits:

-Students earn one-half credit more per year

-Teachers and students have fewer classes per day

-Will accommodate growth within the school until 1993

-Longer class periods allow more in-depth instruction

-Potential to receive state grants for adopting a productivity model

Disadvantages:

-Trimester scheduling difficulties

-Added demand on lab classes and classrooms with special equipment

- Increases crowding in halls and in lunchroom

-Increased class time per day can be negative

-Will not accommodate growth from elementaries without trailers or modified schedule in future.