The Board of Education approved s e v e r e modifications last night in the size and regularity of the city's three junior high swimming classes for the second semester. The measures will be taken to prevent recurrences of the two near-drownings which occurred at Forsythe and Slauson Junior Highs earlier in the school year. The changes were . proposed by the members of the junior high physical education staff on the recommendation of a committee of swimming experts asked by Acting Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. to evalúate the safety of the swimming classes at Tappan, Slauson and F o rsythe Junior Highs following the near-tragedies. Elise H a rney, physical education coördinator, presented the proposals to the trustees. Different procedures will be followed at all three schools, L - . - but a maximum class size of 201 to 25 students and altérnate times for swimming will be standard. All students will take swimming. Classes had previously ranged from 30 to 71, with only one teacher supervising. According to Miss Harney, these programs will be effective during the second semester only. By the f all of 1968, she said, the physical education staff hopes to come up with a more permanent proposal. At Slauson, classes will rein ain at 20 throughout the semester. All students will have swimming, but on an altérnate basis for two weeks at a time. During the weeks they do not have swimming, the boys and girls will be assigned to study halls and classröoms. At Forsythe, classes w ï 1 II range from 20 to 25, and the students will swim every other week. Additional lifeguards will be hired to assist with the large seventh-grade classes. At Tappan, the students will swim for a block period of six or seven days, and then go to the study hall or library for a period of six or seven days. After spring vacation, the procedure vvill be changed and all classes will swim only one day per week. The proposals raised the doubts of at least two of the trustees because of additional money which must be allocated to the additional study - hall teachers and the life-guards. The total cost, according to Westerman, would be near $10,-- = - 000 for the second semester. Both School Board President Hazen J. Schumaeher Jr. and Trustee Paul H. Johnson voted against the proposal, because of their reservations on allocating additional funds. "I have no doubt as to the wisdom of this move . . . but I am extremely reluctant to authorize any more expenditures this year," Schumaeher said. He then spoke of uncertainties in next year's school budget. Several other trustees disagreed, citing the importance of the children's safety. "We are talking about children's lives," Trustee Harold J. Lockett countered. Westerman also urgently j ommended the program, saying the school system will be "guilty of negligence" if no changes are made. The committee of swimming experts feit that Ann Arbor has been "peculiarly blessed" in not experiencing any student drownings before ;now, he added, because of the high student-teacher ratios: The program proposals were approved by a 5-2 vote, with Schumaeher and Johnson casting "no" votes. Vice President Robert E. Doerr and Trustee Charles H. Good were absent.
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