04252018 Headline:

Advisory shift may leave students hungry

Schedule changes to A and B block days won’t go down easy

By Zakary Sleeth

Due to insufficient teacher planning time and possible legal action against the district, RAHS, as well as other Highline schools, were required to change their daily schedule. This change could potentially lead to advisory being moved to the beginning of the day. However, given very little time, the teachers created a temporary solution of moving advisory to the end of the day. Teachers Michelle Juarez and Dona Bien-Aime are leading the resolution efforts.

The issue that caused the sudden change arose when a problem was reported in one high school, which resulted in a district wide audit. Juarez was one of the teachers who looked further into the issue.

“The central office did some sort of reconciliation, so they noted that there was a discrepancy in one of the high school schedules – the teachers weren’t getting enough planning time,” said Juarez. “It essentially made them do an audit of all the high schools, and it turned out that there are numerous high schools that [showed a discrepancy].

The time planning error was found in RAHS because of the block periods, which did not give teachers their allotted planning time as promised by their contracts. Originally the district’s recommendation would exclude advisory altogether.

“The contract says you have to have 120 minutes [of planning] a day, and that counts the 30 minutes before and after school, all the passing time, and some class time,” said Juarez. “They [the District] told us that we have until October 9th to change it, and they’re pushing us to go to a six period day, but we said absolutely not, that won’t work for us.”

After rallying the teachers together to keep advisory in the schedule, their combined effort led to a temporary fix of moving advisory to the end of the day until a more suitable schedule could be agreed upon. The 2017-18 school year will continue with this schedule.

Data from Michelle Juarez

“Mr. Bien-Aime and I attended a meeting and we put together, with other teachers’ help, a waiver and submitted that,” said Juarez. “In the meantime we started playing around with the schedule, and after October 9th they said that we are okay to go to the revised schedule, with advisory at the end of the day.”

While the current compromise, with advisory being at the end of the day, certainly accounts for the missing planning time, it has caused some problems for students who don’t have a 6th period, or leave early for sports.

“[The new schedule] impacts quite a few students, I think over 40 students are impacted who are essentially never seen in advisory,” said Juarez. “If you don’t have advisory you don’t have access to a lot of college and support information.”

In order to give all students advisory and adhere to the teacher contracts, a possible solution would be to put advisory at the beginning of the day, helping students who are now missing advisory. However, the change would push lunch back to 1 pm and have it end at 1:45 pm.

“We’re hoping that if they allow us to move advisory to the beginning of the day, the number of students that are impacted will be greatly reduced. There are only 15 students that would be affected for only one day or the other,” said Juarez. “Now it would be fine except it does impact lunch, so lunch wouldn’t be until 1, so that can be kind of big, but we’ll cross that when we get there.”

Many students are in support of the additional lunch time that both schedules grant, but having such a late lunch is not as exciting. Sophomore Kyla Sorensen prefers the old schedule over the proposed one.

“I think that lunch at one is too late, I get hungry during second period basically,” said Sorensen. “I really don’t think that lunch should be that late, that’s crazy.”

Freshman Caleb Jones has a similar mindset, and has become accustomed to the additional work time at the end of the day in advisory.

“I like advisory at the end of the day because I usually get extra work time to get homework done, which is kind of nice,” said Jones. “You’ve gone through all of your classes, so you know what you need to work on.”

Other opinions vary, but generally the newer schedule isn’t perceived well by students, such as junior Chase King.

“I personally like the extra 15 minutes of advisory [from previous years], but the extra 15 minutes of lunch makes up for it,” said King. “I would not be okay with having lunch at 1 though, that’s a long time to wait for lunch.”

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