MCSD proposes changes to high school scheduling - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

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MCSD proposes changes to high school scheduling

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The proposal to change high school scheduling has been an on-going conversation since last spring. District officials say it's an effort to save money without endangering student's education. The board heard the proposal at Monday night’s work session.

In the proposal, the high school schedule would move from 7-periods to 8-periods. With the current schedule, students have four-90 minute classes that meet every other day. With the proposed model, students would still have four classes a day, but three would be 90-minute classes and meet every other day and one would be a 50-minute class meeting every day. School’s start and end time would not be affected, the rest of the time in school would be a mini-period called Increased Learning Time (ILT), which focuses on acceleration and remediation. ILT would allow students to make up missed work, learn test-taking strategies and pursue credit recovery.

The administration says the current high school schedule is the most expensive scheduling structure a high school can have. With the district 10 million dollars in the red for next fiscal year, the proposed changes are expected to save the district $4 million dollars.

“Money was the initial driving factor,” says Lewis. “We do realize the shortcomings of the financial aspect so we're trying to make sure we do things that will be the most efficient and effective going forward.”

Lewis says the district would save money by reducing staff by 15%. The goal is to handle the reductions through attrition and reassignment to avoid layoffs, but Lewis says that's no guarantee.

“It will be a challenge for all of us in the system to try and find places through attrition to meet the needs and assure everyone is qualified and certified which is obviously a quality that we have to maintain,” says Lewis.

District officials say there is no significant evidence that shows certain high school schedules are more superior with student success. Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Bratten pointed out only 35% of the districts in Georgia have these eight-period schedules.

The board will vote on the changes at next week's board meeting. If the board does not approve the changes, Lewis says furlough days would most likely have to be taken.

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