VIRGINIA BEACH - Parents, students and school staff told the Va. Beach School Board what they think about a proposed schedule change for high schools that also will impact all city schools.
There was a public meeting on the plan Tuesday night.
Officials say they developed the four by four schedule because the current high school schedule no longer works for students to meet state-mandated graduation requirements.
The new schedule also will make it easier for high school students to retake classes they failed and high school students will have more chances to take electives or earn certifications, officials stress.
To accommodate the plan, changes have to be made to the schedules of all schools. 15 minutes will be added to high school schedules (7:20 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.) Adjust the start and dismissal times for elementary and middle schools (elementary “A” 8:10 a.m.-2:40 p.m.; elementary “B” 8:40 a.m.-3:10 p.m.; middle schools 9:20 a.m.-3:50 p.m.)
School board member Patrick Salyer says he's received about a dozen emails protesting the schedule change. He says teachers are upset they're being asked to work longer hours without a pay raise. Parents are concerned about cramming what were year-long courses into a one semester.
Green Run High School principal George Parker thinks it's a good plan.
"By increasing the high school instructional day by five minutes in the morning and ten minutes at the end of day, this schedule will allow teachers to have time for planning and lunch scheduled everyday - increase the amount of face to face time with students," he says.
Kellam High School teacher John Merritt is against it.
"Teachers in Virginia Beach already have low morale because of the long laundry list we just stated and that will only exasperate the situation," he said.
A vote is expected at the December 4 School Board meeting. If approved, the new schedule would take effect for the 2013-2014 school year.