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Teachers ready to vote on new bell schedule

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Teachers ready to vote on new bell schedule

Chandler Roberts, Copy Editor

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Students hate advisory, but love tutorial.

In an informal survey, almost 65 percent of students wanted to remove advisory entirely.

“Advisory is not really that useful,” said sophomore David Sandel. “If you need to give out information, make it on a certain tutorial day”

Teachers feel the same way, with nearly 50 percent either wanting to remove it altogether or reduce the number of advisory periods that they teach.

An altered advisory was one of the considerations that the Bell Schedule committee took when developing their new schedules, since the current one did not meet required instructional minutes.

In an informal vote, teachers overwhelmingly chose a modified block schedule where they will teach all of their classes in one day once a week. The remaining four days of the week will be a block schedule.

The proposed schedules would meet the 64,800 instructional minutes required annually in their contracts, which could be changed with the upcoming negotiations.

For the past three months, the Bell Schedule Committee, headed by teachers Steven Turner and Kevin Kalman, have created schedules that accommodated specific desires based on feedback from staff and students, such as shorter periods, more elective choices and missed time due to career technical education classes. Most importantly, satisfying teacher minutes was a priority.

Instead of having adding more minutes to the already 100 minute long class periods, the committee decided to add a seventh period. This does not mean that students must take seven periods. Most students will still take six periods, but they may take first through sixth period or second through seventh period, and would only take all seven if it was a necessity.

Some details, such as keeping teacher schedules continuous, rather than fragmented, would need assurances from the district. The committee is looking at a memorandum that reflects that wish.

“We want our class periods to be consecutive, just like students, so one through six or two through seven,” Kalman said. “Those things need to be finalized in the contracts which can be done through the union reps.”

This has the delayed the vote, which was supposed to take place Nov. 30.

“I’m a little sad that it’s not going as fast as originally planned,” Kalman said. “The delay is for a good reason and I would much rather do it right the first time then have to worry about changes later.”

Rather than schedule a vote, the committee further refined their schedules, and sent out a survey to all teachers to get a rough idea of which schedule was wanted.

There were three options. The first was having a regular block schedule with odd and even days. Another option kept the same schedule, except it was shifted to 30 minutes later and have shorter periods.

The one that teachers unofficially chose is a modified block, meaning that there are four block day, and one where students attend all their classes that last 54 minutes.

This schedule would cut down class periods to 90 minutes as opposed to the current 100. Students would see each of their teachers for the same amount of time each week. On minimum days, there is time open for either a 54-minute advisory or tutorial.

Turner said that the vote could be pushed back to be as late as the beginning of January and the new schedule will be implemented as soon as 2020.

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