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Fairfield school board hears report on high school life

Fairfield High School senior Kevin Kretz (highlighted square in bottom left) addresses the Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors Monday night.
Fairfield High School senior Kevin Kretz (highlighted square in bottom left) addresses the Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors Monday night.

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield High School senior Kevin Kretz shared his thoughts about block scheduling and virtual learning during the Fairfield Community School District Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Kretz joined the meeting over Zoom, and gave an update on how the school year is going so far and what’s new at the high school. The board members congratulated Kretz on his recent swimming exploits, which included placing at the state swim meet as a member of Ottumwa’s swim team (Fairfield does not have boys’ swimming). Kretz placed sixth in the 50-meter freestyle, breaking Ottumwa’s school record in the process. He also finished seventh in the 100-meter freestyle.

Kretz gave an update on the activities of Fairfield’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, of which he is vice president. Board members were interested to learn how he and other high school students have adjusted to block scheduling, where the students spend a few hours per day in one class instead of devoting 45 minutes to eight classes, the more traditional schedule.

Kretz said he likes block classes because the classes are smaller and he has more time to spend with the teacher. He said the school’s virtual days are also going well. He mentioned that teachers upload their assignments to the online portal in the morning so the students know what they have to do that day.

Board member Margo Von Strohuber asked Kretz what he thought of sticking with the block schedule next year instead of returning to an eight-period style schedule like before. Kretz said he thinks that would be good because the block schedule is less chaotic from having to switch classes less. However, he recommended the school could switch to having three or four classes per day, more than it has now, so the students had the chance to interact with more of their classmates. Kretz said his friends feel the same way, that they like the block schedule but wish they had just a few more classes.

The high school has returned to having band lessons with the full group. Kretz said he hopes the choir can begin doing the same thing.

Board member Frank Broz asked him if he can interact with his classmates much on virtual days, and Kretz said it’s simple to communicate with classmates over FaceTime.