SP board will not vote on scheduling

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2004

SOUTH POINT - Parents and students opposing possible changes to the 2004-2005 South Point High School class schedule were told Monday that the the issue is not a matter for the Board of Education.

"We don't need to vote on scheduling. That's an administrative decision," Superintendent Ken Cook said at last night's meeting. "We don't tell Mr. (Mark) Christian, Mr. (Chris) Mathis or Mr. (Les) York about all of that - they determine that. They're in charge of that. Right now, what we're looking at is going towards a more traditional seven periods a day."

During April's board meeting, sophomore honors student Rachel Bentley presented a petition opposing changes to the board members. Scheduling issues were slated to be addressed during a special session on April 22 but were not.

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Proposed changes would entail switching from four, required one-and-one-half hour class periods daily to seven 45-minute classes.

Parent Jennifer Majher said the new scheduling will be most harmful to upperclassmen.

"I'm the parent of a child at the top of her class and a challenged child, so I see the positives to both sides," she said. "My concern is that a lot of kids have been planning their schedules for college. Now, they cannot prepare themselves, and I do not see why seniors are being penalized.

"If we're going to have changes, it should be when the students get moved into their new schools. Nobody is prepared for this and they're going to have to accommodate."

Her daughter, Amanda Howard, agreed.

"I was promised by the school board I will get the classes I need to graduate," she said. "Why are we trying to fix something that is not broken?"

"It is broken. That's why we're trying to fix it," Cook replied.

Parent Terri Koukos said it will be difficult for students to find the time to take the classes they want with the new scheduling.

"I want somebody to explain to my daughter how she's supposed to take Algebra III and calculus when there is no way she can fit it into the proposed schedule," Koukos said. "If you can give me an educational reason, then I will support you."

Cooke said research and studies show that blocked scheduling does not work out for student achievement.

"I think students are not being challenged," he said.

Board member Terry Blake said the district needs to take care of the seniors.

"We've got some problems we're going to have to work out," he said. "We are going to work on it to accommodate students.

Bentley attended Boyd County High School in Cannonsburg, Ky., before transferring to South Point this year.

"I believe you have the students' best interests at heart, but what's really important is our future and our education, not state test scores," she said.

Cooke said the proposed scheduling changes would help target students who do not excel in their studies.

"I've talked with a lot of students who've went away to college," he said. "One that graduated college was here in my office just last week. One of the first things she asked me was 'are you still on blocked scheduling?'"

Still, Bentley said the new scheduling will be difficult for the students. She compared the proposed schedule to an interstate.

"Imagine only bridges and exits without a highway," Bentley said.