MASON, Ohio - Mason City Schools will switch to semesters starting in the 2014-2015 school year in order to cut budget costs, according to district officials.
Mason schools will have two 18-week semesters instead of three 12-week trimesters. Officials also say the Ohio Graduation Test will be replaced by a series of exams in core subjects.
"The trimester system has served us well for many years, but with budget constraints and pending mandates from the state with Common Core and end-of-course exams we want to be proactive in developing a system to maximize our resources for the future. Moving to semesters will continue to provide opportunities to challenge students who are ready to embrace that, as well as additional time for students who need more support. We will work hard to make this a smooth transition for all," said Mason High School principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart in a release.
The district is expected to save about $748,000 per year by switching to semesters.
Officials say the district is currently working with parents, students and teachers to develop a semester schedule that benefits students.
"Many families and students have shared that they are excited about the opportunity to be immersed in a course for a full year – rather than, for example, taking Spanish 2A third trimester and not having Spanish 2B until second trimester the following year," stated McCarty-Stewart.
Mason Schools will hold a meeting on March 12 at the eighth grad transition meeting and March 19 at the 9th-11th grade transition meetings, according to a release.