New System in Schools

Promotions Will Be Made Each Half Year Now Will Save Quantity of Time

Where a Pupil Has Failed He Will Only Have to Go Over a Half Year’s Work in the Future, Instead of an Entire Year as in the Past.

A new system of promotions has been adopted by the board of education for the Norfolk public schools up to and including the eighth grade. Hereafter promotions will be made twice a year instead of once, and each grade in the school will be divided into two separate and distinct classes, one a half year ahead of the other. The advantages from the new system over the old are that time will be saved, since a pupil who fails in his final examination at the end of a half year will have only a half year’s work to do over instead of a full year’s work, as heretofore has been the case; and the work in each grade, being divided into two distinct parts, will be more thorough.

The greatest advantage from the new system is in time saved those who have failed in a final examination. Under the old system this pupil was obliges to remain for another entire year in the same grade. Under the new system he will only have to go back and make up a half year’s school work before going on with the next grade.

The new system was adopted by the board of education at its meeting held Monday night, and it is this week being put into effect for the first time. They system is much the same as that used in the university of Nebraska, where the year is divided into two semesters, and is identical with the system now in vogue at high schools in all of the cities larger than Norfolk and in most of them of Norfolk’s size.

Under the new rule, for instance, there are two classes in the preliminary room, A and B.   A pupil entering this fall goes into the A class and at the end of four and a half months, provided he passes examinations, goes into the B class. In this way the teacher will keep doing two sets of work at the same time, each class being a cycle by itself, as it were, revolving around and around each half year. As one result, pupils may enter school in the middle of the year as well as the beginning, where they have been able to enter only on the first of September, heretofore. The half year student, or one who gets started in the middle of the year, will thus be promoted from one grade to another in the middle of each year, and will only go from one class to another each new year.

The only place that it will be necessary for a pupil to wait for the rest of the class, the grade having been completed in the middle of the year, will be in the eighth grade, since it is not possible to enter the high school on half year terms, this system not having been carried out here as yet. In time, however, it will go into effect there also, probably. The saving of time in the lower grades, however, will compensate for any waiting done at the end of the eighth grade. The high school is not included in this new system because a much increased force of teachers would be needed for the work there if the rule were adopted. Superintendent Bodwell is enthusiastic as to the advantages to be gained by the change of systems. Source: The Norfolk Daily News, Thurs. September 6, 1906, page 3.