THE STORY BEHIND THE SCHEDULE CHANGES
By Jackson Osteen
This school year, you may have noticed some changes. Every morning the bells ring earlier, your classes are longer, and Team Time is shorter. These major changes may leave you pondering about the school’s reasoning behind the changes. Well, I did some research and sat down with Mrs. Graves, and I believe I can essentially answer these questions and more.
What do the students think about the changes?
In order to answer this question, I decided to poll 100 of the students here at Pin Oak, and the results came to no one’s surprise. The poll showed 81% of students disliked the changes, and only 19 % liked the new schedule. But the truth is, as much as students like or dislike the schedule changes, it all comes down to money, and that leads me to the next question.
The big question: What’s the reason for the schedule changes?
So, the reason for the article, why the schedule changes? Why not just keep the schedule the old way, the way “everyone” liked? The reason is the one the phrase that will always send a cringe down an administrator’s back. Budget cuts. According to my research the school anticipated a 200,000 -300,000 dollar hit for the 2016-2017 school. That’s equal to the pay roll of four to six teachers. And, to many kids surprise, money doesn’t grow on trees. The school was left with a pretty big choice, either cut the teachers, (the teachers would probably had to come from the enrichment classes, such as the foreign language, art or physical education programs) or manage to scrape together around 200,000 dollars. As you can probably tell, the school chose the second one. Here’s how they did it. First they increased enrollment, which in turn brings more revenue. But more students, means we needed more class sections, or places for students to be during the school day, while still meeting the contractual requirement of 450 minutes of planning for each teacher within instructional times. And, the last thing the school wanted to do was hire more teachers. So, the result, a longer day, and longer classes. This also had an impact on team time and lunch. Here’s a look at what the schools budget looks like, the budget cuts have taken 4-6% of the overall budget.
Here’s the Truth: Your Teachers are Outstanding
As you can imagine, if the schedule changes were hard for you to deal with, as a student, think about how difficult it was for the teachers. As I already said, creating longer schools day, meant more classes to accommodate more children. Your teachers shifted from teaching six of eight class periods to seven of eight class periods. That is no easy transition. Your teachers worked very hard to help make this schedule work. Mrs. Graves said it best, “ Our teachers love their individual programs so much that they were ready and enthusiastic to make the schedule work.”