The school committee last week reached a consensus to postpone the new schedule for next year and instead chose to focus on the issue of the steadily increasing elementary class sizes.
Principal Conrad revealed, “There would be no changes in the current schedule except for the new AP classes” when informing the board about what would happen if the schedule were to remain the same as it is currently.
The school committee chose instead to focus on the large classes in the elementary schools, which make it hard for young students to get the attention they need. One of the large problems about the under staffing in the elementary schools is that kids who are in the English Language Learners (ELL) program speak such a variety of languages that the school doesn’t have enough teachers to comply with that large array of languages. About one-third of Sanborn Elementary School students currently take part in the English language learners program. Consequently, the money that had been considered for the schedule is being used instead to add more staff to the elementary schools.
The benefits of the schedule were noted by the board, highlighting the importance of the full-year classes for mathematics and foreign language, as well as personalization and collaboration from the H block. Despite this, at the end of the day staffing the elementary schools is a more pressing issue.
An issue discovered concerning the new schedule was that the art, performing, and visual learning classes were planned for being one credit for students graduating in 2017, and one and a half credits for students graduating in the years following that. Vice Chair of the school board, Joel Blumstein, commented, “for me it’s kind of counterintuitive, if our current requirement is one we are increasing to reduce the required credits in one area”.
The idea of the new schedule is not gone yet. Paula Colby-Clements, another member of the school committee, said, “I urge people to really listen to the reasons why we have come to a place where we are looking at a new schedule for our kids.” They are planning for the implementation of the new schedule into the high school to be the next project that goes into motion. They believe that giving the schedule an extra year to be ameliorated will allow them to make the necessary improvements to it before it is actually implemented.
A member of the financial board voiced at last week’s meeting that “the hardest decisions are not when you’re deciding between something that’s good and something that’s bad; the hardest decisions are when you are choosing between two things that you think are really necessary and you have to choose between them.”
By Sydney Bergan