Seventh Period Added to Leon County High Schools

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TALLAHASSEE - More class time is on the way for Leon County high schoolers. Starting this fall they'll add a seventh period to their class schedule.

Right now the seventh period is optional for high schoolers, but this fall buses will pick students up earlier to fit in the extra class time for everyone.

Reggie Mitchell will head into high school this fall. He hopes the extra class time will help him decide his future.

"If you take seven periods, by the time you're a junior or senior you can dual enroll and get an associates degree or get a head start on what you do for your career."

The Leon County School Board hopes the extra period will let students take more electives or retake a class they failed.

"If they're interested in yearbook, or band or chorus they could take a couple of those classes, whereas before they were limited, especially those struggling students," said Merry Ortega, the board director.

For the last four years those who opted for seven periods had to fit in the extra class before the regular school day started. On top of that, they had to provide their own transportation. Now, the school board will provide a way to get students there.

"Even though it's not an option anymore, even if it was an option for me to take six or seven classes, I would take seven to get a jump start," Reggie said.

What time the first bell will ring is still being debated. The school board wants more public input before it decides.

Those who don't need the extra credits to graduate can opt out of the seventh period. They can start school an hour later or use the extra hour at school for studying.

It'll cost the school board more then a million bucks. The money goes to pay for teachers.