Teacher shortage affecting classes at Va. Beach high schools

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 4 at 6:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - School board members say there are not enough teachers for the new high school schedule.

“The new schedule provided more opportunity, but we didn’t increase the number of teachers,” Chairman Dan Edwards said.

As a result, students are being turned away classes and told to sign up for study halls.

“These study halls will take the place of an elective on a student’s schedule,” Kellam High principal Bruce Biehl wrote in a letter to parents explaining the lack of teachers.

“In some elective areas, choices may be limited by staffing allocations and specialized equipment for instruction,” he stated.

Edwards explained the teacher shortage affects all Virginia Beach high schools.

“We knew upfront that we did not increase the budget for more teachers. We’re sorry that we cannot cover eight classes for all students,” he stated

Earlier this year, the School Board approved adding 15 minutes to the high school schedule. Parents and students supported the additional time so students could take more classes.

“We appreciate your understanding as we work to meet the demands of our students’ course requests while maximizing resources in the building,” Biehl wrote.

“There is a concern here. It seems to be an unintended consequence of the schedule, class size increase and the budget. I think the Kellam principal was the first to notify parents and students,” added board member Joel McDonald.

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