H-SANTA MARIA

Sep 10, 2013 7:17 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

Block scheduling main topic for school district meeting

A controversial plan to change school class schedules will be a topic at a parents meeting in Santa Maria Tuesday, one day before the district will hear from the community.There are two types of class schedules being used at city high schools.Students at Santa Maria High School and Pioneer Valley High School have what is known as the block schedule system.The way it works is, students take three to four classes in the fall and the same number of new classes in the spring.Righetti has a traditional schedule. Students take about six classes a day, but have the same classes all year long.Parents are coming together Tuesday night to discuss what they want before presenting to the district. "After being here for a while you get used to it, but I used to go to Valley Christian Academy and they had period schedule. It's really different," said Santa Maria High School student Marz Garcia. Garcia is a senior. She says she likes the block schedule, which is 90-minute classes a day in the fall and new classes in the spring. "You get less homework. You get to learn more during that period," said Garcia. But when end of the year test time rolls around, she says it can be challenging to remember what she learned months ago. "Once you have to take a test like the STAR test you have to go back to the previous semester," said Garcia. Which is why some parents think students should have the same classes year round. "Especially for English learners. They need English year round and the block schedule does not provide that opportunity," said parent Rafaela Moreno. Moreno's daughter is a sophomore at Santa Maria High School. She says often times students are tested on subjects they haven't been enrolled in for months. "It lacks the opportunity for the Santa Maria High School students to be prepared in Math, English and Science," said Moreno. Students do have review days at the end of the year before STAR testing to catch up with subjects.The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.The parents will share their thoughts at the district's meeting on Wednesday.A decision will not be made at the meeting. If a change is made, it would go into effect i Fall of 2014.The district meets Wednesday at the district office building on Skyway Drive in Santa Maria at 5:30 p.m.

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