School Update (02-03-2020)
Principal Olivero here with this week’s school update.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 4, 2020, we will hold two separate meetings after school. The first, at 2:30 p.m., will be a School Site Council meeting and the second, at 3:00 p.m., will be a School Site Governance Team (SSGT) meeting. Both meetings will be held in the principal’s conference room and we will make decisions on how to use the 2020-21 allocated school funding dollars. Stakeholders are invited to attend both meetings.
The second SSGT agenda item, to be discussed around 3:30 pm, will be to review the impact of the new school start time for next year’s athletes. Overall, depending on the grade level of a student, and what classes a student wants to take, their choice and selection of courses can be impacted by the need to be in a new 6th period athletics class. A 6th period athletics class is necessary for certain sporting teams so that their sport can conduct practices or games/matches before it gets dark outside which is around 5 pm during the winter and start of spring sporting seasons. Next year school will be getting out anywhere between 3:36 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. The most impacted students each year will be our 11th grade students. I know there is some conversation within our parent groups that don’t understand why their student is being required to give up an elective course to have to take a 6th period athletics class, but whether this is true or not can vary depending on their student’s grade level and what classes they seek to take.
Not part of the call out:
A little over seven years ago the school used to have sixth period athletics. Most athletes were in a 6th period class which allowed them to start their sport earlier in the day and got them home earlier on practice and game days. It was also helpful in that students could leave school earlier for an away game. Back then the removal of 6th period athletics for students, with the exception of varsity basketball players due to facility challenges, happened because the SSGT heard from parents and students who wanted sports after school. Their decision was to allow students the opportunity to take more pathway classes and the chance to take more AP/Community College offerings. Our student athletes, in my opinion, greatly benefited from this decision. Student participation in pathway courses, community college classes, and AP classes helped our students tremendously. Moving to after school sports made our athletes far more competitive with higher GPAs, and aided them when applying to colleges and universities.
With the realization that a late school start time would cause us to have to look at options for dealing with the loss of sunlight, the school took up this issue with both our SSGT and the school staff. In the fall the staff was asked to consider an alternative schedule (4 by 4) that would allow students to earn more courses credits through an alternative bell schedule. Such a schedule would allow athletes a means to keep the same number of classes and also have a last period athletics class each day. The teaching staff went through a process where both the pros and cons were highlighted for students and staff. It was realized that both a 4 by 4 schedule and traditional 6th period schedule have drawbacks and benefits. The result from this conversation led teachers to agree that while there were certain advantages to changing to a 4 by 4 schedule, they overwhelmingly felt the 6th period schedule provided the best option to meet the needs of students and teachers.
The challenge to students regarding the Healthy Start Time Change was discussed by the School Site Governance Team early in the school year. Please see School News for 10-23, 11-05, and 11-13 on the school website. Interested parents and students can attend Tuesday’s SSGT meeting as I will again explain the Healthy Late Start pros and cons for students. This SSGT conversation tomorrow will likely occur around 3:30 pm.
Shifting gears, there will be two important meetings Thursday night, February 6, 2020. At 5:30 p.m., the counselors will be meeting with the parents of all 9th graders to go over the 2020-21 course selections for next year. Counselors later in the week will be meeting with all 9th graders to go over course selections for next year.
At 6:30 p.m., the PTSA will conduct their monthly meeting, and this will be followed by PTSA guest speaker, Dr. Amanda Hirko, who will be speaking on the topic of navigating the College Admissions process. Dr. Hirko’s presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the media center.
That’s it for this week. Have a great week Cents! Mr. O.