March 3, 2017 by stoptheblockhvrhs
Communications from the administration and the BOE have been referring to “misinformation.” The assistant superintendent held a hastily arranged information session on Thursday, Feb. 23 to correct all of the “misinformation” that was spreading. It should be noted that at no time prior to this did the school ever inform parents of the schedule change, and at this meeting, it was revealed that students would be signing up for classes under the new schedule the following week. That’s called “no information”. But the point is that at that meeting, we learned that everything we had heard about the modified 4×4 was true. There was no misinformation. (There may have been some late tweaks to the details of the schedule, but nothing that, in any way, lessened our objections).
Today, in her letter informing parents that they will not be heard at the next BOE meeting, BOE chair Andrea Downs, wrote “Unfortunately, it would appear that a lot of misinformation was disseminated throughout our broader community in a way that is causing all stakeholders to feel fearful and anxious about this change.”
If you take a look at the HVRHS website, you can find a collection of “Scheduling Resources”, mostly consisting of handouts from last week’s information session. Included are a couple of papers aimed at convincing parents and students that the block schedule is a good thing. One example is the document “The Daily Schedule.docx”. This document argues in favor of the block schedule by saying that the other type of schedule, the “Carnegie Unit” is inferior because of it’s “instructional organization of discrete 40-plus- minute segments” and because “the pace a typical student pursues in nine different locations doing nine different activities in a six-and-a-half- hour school day is grueling.”
The schedule used by HVRHS has 50 and 70 minute blocks and students take 6 classes per day (not 9). The new modified 4×4 block schedule has them in 5 – that’s one less. (The new block schedule has a fifth block called I/E – intervention/enrichment – that’s supposed to help students by allowing all 400 of them get help from teachers at once).
Another document is “Schedule Comparison.pdf”. It compares the current schedule to the new schedule. According to that document, this is what the current schedule looks like at HVRHS:
Parents of HVRHS students will find that laughable, but for anybody else reading, please see “Why We’re Opposed” for a description of the current schedule.
In contrasting the two schedules, the document states that the current schedule uses a “rotating schedule of 8 blocks” (true, but only six on any day) while the new schedule uses a “rotating schedule of 4 blocks” (not true, it does not rotate, so students have the same class at 8AM every morning and the same class during the last block, so that sports can interfere with the same class).
So when you read accusations of “misinformation” from the administration and the BOE, listen with a skeptical ear. Most readers won’t have the time to research the issue to the extent we have been doing, so we’re aware that it’s hard to know who to trust. We’re parents, watching out for our children’s future. Some of our kids are honor roll students, some of our kids have D’s. Some play sports, others are musicians and some are in ag. We have enough representation that even though we’re thinking of our own kids first, there’s a good chance that one or more of us have kids like yours. We don’t know the administration’s motivation. You’d like to think that it’s the welfare of our children. You’d have to think that, right ? But when advocate after advocate, case study after case study lists requirements for it’s success that the administration is blatantly, inexplicably disregarding, you have to be skeptical. And if the administration thinks this is misinformation, we challenge them to find one single piece of evidence suggesting that it’s reasonable to make such a radical change to a school’s schedule without notifying parents until a week before their children are expected to sign up for classes, against the wishes of the faculty, against the wishes of parents, and without training teachers in how to modify curriculum and how to teach 180 days worth of material effectively in 90 days. Show us where we’re misinformed.