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Wilson High School gets new bell schedule

When students return to Wilson High School this fall, they won’t just be adjusting to a new school year, but also to a new school schedule.

Principal Brian Chatard announced last spring that Wilson would be transitioning to a “Skinny 8” bell schedule for the 2013-14 school year.

Under this new schedule, all eight periods will be offered on Mondays in 43-minute classes, with a 46-minute lunch. Periods 1 through 4 will then meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and periods 5 through 8 on Thursdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, class periods will last 90 minutes and lunch will be 50 minutes long. On Thursdays and Fridays, there will be 80-minute classes and 45-minute lunches.

This shift follows the approval last May by the Portland School Board of a $487 million budget enabling all high school students in the district to take a full schedule of eight classes.

“I don’t think every kid is going to end up taking eight classes — it’s a lot of classes — but at least those who can or want to will be able to,” Chatard said.

Previously, odd- and even-numbered class periods were offered on alternating days for 30 minutes each on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and for 75 minutes each on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with a 45-minute lunch period every day of the week.

Beginning this year, Wilson’s so-called Tutor Time, which has been offered since 2004, will take place on Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. and on Fridays from 9:35 to 10:15 a.m. Thursday Tutor Time will be mandatory for freshmen and optional for all other students. Any administrative interruptions, such as assemblies and college speakers, will be held during Friday Tutor Time in an effort to minimize loss of instruction in core classes.