Why has my class schedule been changed?
Schools have to go through a process of leveling class sizes. That means getting all core classes to 37 students or fewer and all teachers to 185 or fewer by a specified date (September 18, 2014). This requires moving students. It is disruptive and sometimes heartbreaking, but all schools have to do this.
Guidance specialists try to find students to move who will experience the least disruption in their schedule. Rather than move a student who might require 3-4 teacher changes, they will look for the student who may require 0-2 teacher changes.
Is this because FVHS is the biggest school in the District?
No. The school’s total enrollment has nothing to do with having to make schedule changes to meet contracts. It is important to know that this happens at all schools. The school with 1600 students has to do the same thing with the same ratios as the school with 3700. Class sizes are the same whether we are at 1600 or 3700.
Again, we recognize that these changes are disruptive to learning. We do our best to minimize the disruption and get the changes done quickly so that students can adapt to their new schedule and maintain momentum. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Why can’t I get the exact schedule I want, including teachers and class periods?
We are obliged to get students the classes they need to meet graduation and college entry requirements. However, schools cannot customize schedules for preferred time of day or teacher. Here’s why.
1.) Class Maximums. By contract, we cannot place more than 37 students in a teacher’s class in the core areas of math, science, English, history and world language. When a class is full, it’s full. We either find another section to put them in, or if all sections are full, the student may have to wait.
2.) Teacher Maximums. By contract teachers cannot have over 185 students on their roster in the core subjects of science, math, English, history and world languages.
3.) Efficient use of resources. In order to make the best use of the funding available to schools, we must strive to fill each class we offer. Unfilled classes are expensive. We cannot open a class section just because three more students want a class.
4.) Teacher Qualifications. Students/parents cannot hand-select teachers for the reasons stated above. We cannot possibly accommodate everyone’s wishes and constantly shift students around to sample teachers. Teachers may vary in their personalities and teaching styles, but ALL are highly qualified to teach the subjects they are teaching.
5.) Efficient use of space. There are a finite number of classrooms and instructional spaces. We cannot educate all 3700 students between 0 and 4th period. There is not enough space to compress the schedules into that short timeframe. Our school day is 1-6, with a few exceptions for 0 period.
6.) Recommended Preparation. Students are placed into the curriculum that is appropriate for them based on a combination of their prior grades, placement test scores, Standards Tests scores, teacher recommendations and goals. If a student desires a higher level class than recommended, the parent can request a waiver for placement into a non-recommended course, but may have to wait until there is space available.