A Board of Education decision on proposed Long Beach school schedule changes, prompted to save more than $1 million and following input from some 2,000 people, may come Monday night.
Staff for California's third largest school district, is proposing what's labeled Plan B, which is a shift from its original support for a plan that would have made high school start times later; the district staff said it based that on research that shows teenagers perform better later in the day. It also would have moved younger students to an earlier start time, essentially disrupting more of the 81,000 students than would Plan B.
"Based on the input from over two thousand staff, parents and students regarding the 2013-2014 bell schedule," the agenda item begins, "staff recommends the Board of Education adopt the following items:
1. Approve Plan B with the following changes: • McBride High School pilots a late start schedule (8:50 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.)
2. All elementary schools (grades 1-5) implement a forty minute “prep” period on Thursdays.
3. All schools that change starting times from the 2012 bell schedule develop action plans to provide coverage for students in the morning.
4. Appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to research the pros and cons of a “late” start time for high school students. The Committee should report its finding to the Board of Education no later than September, 2014.
The move to alter schedules at the 84 district schools was in pursuit of avoiding costs of upwards of $1 million born largely from bus transportation expenses to accomodate wider hours daily. One of the three options on the agenda is to make no changes to school schedules, which would put the price tag at $953,208, the district staff estimated.
Monday's board meeting starts at 5 p.m. in the Community Room at 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach. Several weeks ago, the schedule matter was to be voted on and the district staff had supported moving high school to an hour later start time.
"Staff is now recommending Plan B, with the modifications detailed in the agenda item," the district announced. The agenda and proposed schedule, school by school and under each plan, can also be found attached here.
"As part of the school district's ongoing efforts to make the wisest use of its limited resources, LBUSD has been examining the efficiency of its school schedules in grades K-12," the district's Friday announcement reads,"Over the years, the variety of school schedules here has increased significantly, making the district’s transportation services less efficient than they could be with more standardized scheduling. LBUSD could save more than $1 million in transportation through schedule adjustments."
As the district explained, "in one of the proposed schedules (Plan A), the high school day would start an hour later next school year. Staff first proposed this option to the school board at a public meeting in November, in part because of research that shows teens may perform better academically when they start school later.
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