The Bemidji School Board may change the Bemidji High School daily schedule during their meeting Monday.
According to school board documents, Superintendent Tim Lutz is recommending a switch to a six-period daily schedule over the existing four-period block schedule.
“The block period schedule is very expensive. A change to a six-period day is projected to save the district $640,000,” said Lutz in the memo.
“Only a very small percentage of high schools in Minnesota remain on the block system due to the high expense of running a block schedule.”
Lutz says the district is facing a potential $1.5 million loss of revenue, and the large step would prevent the district from “statutory operating debt,” an undesirable status leaving much of the budget decision-making to the state.
A petition has already gathered over 2,000 signatures urging the district to find another way.
“The change from a 4-period to 6-period school day would offer Bemidji High School students two less credits per year (6 instead of 8), amounting to 8 less credits over the course of our high school education (24 instead of 32),” wrote the author of the online petition, Ayla Nimis-Ibrahim.
“This change would drastically decrease the amount of electives students can take.”
Last November, voters in the district voted “no” on a new operating referendum.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, and will be broadcasted on their YouTube Channel.