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Northside and Southside High School changing bell schedules to reduce student transitions between classes

Two of Fort Smith's largest high schools are making changes to reduce transitions between classes for students and staff.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Northside and Southside High School have announced changes to their bell schedules that will reduce transitions between classes for students and staff to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) during the upcoming school year. 

In the past, students have attended seven periods, for approximately 45-50 minutes each day. This requires students to move to different locations in the buildings for each period. 

In order to reduce transitions, Northside High School (NHS) and Southside High School (SHS) will operate on a block schedule. 

Students will attend all seven classes across two days rather than one. Each class period will be approximately 90 minutes. Students will attend four classes on "A" day, and three classes on "B" day with a flex period coded to an advisor, providing students to chance to receive additional help and support as needed. 

Students learning from home through the blended classroom model may utilize the flex period to participate in a testing lab for classroom and unit assessments. 

This new schedule helps reduce time in the hallways, and the number of people that students interact with on a daily basis. 

Students will continue to participate in the same course options that they have participated in with a traditional seven period day. 

Both schools will begin the school day at 8:10 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. and run identical bell schedules. 

Credit: Fort Smith Public Schools

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