Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Montoya unveiled the new schedule last week, after overhauling when his first proposal proved unpopular. Instead three shorter lunches, the new proposal features two 32-minute lunches offset from each other to discourage double-lunching and more firmly anchored to the traditional lunch-hour.
At Monday question-and-answer period, Montoya said that the two lunches next year will not be organized according to a student's house or anything else. Students' lunch assignments will be "random like it is now," he said. "We backed off a little bit."
The school's new "Tactics teams," he said, would revisit student lunch assignments with an eye toward creating "smaller learning communities" when the teams get to that issue.
Montoya said that the new six-period schedule, which includes a "Zero" and "7th" period for a variety purposes, allows the school to schedule students who have failed a class to an extra early or late class in order to make up the failed credits.
One teacher asked whether that would result in "Zero" period classes becoming filled with students who had previously failed the class. Montoya said that schedulers would work to avoid such "tracking" of students, but didn't offer specifics as to how that would be accomplished, although several questions were asked on the subject.
The new schedule will allow more teacher collaboration next year, Montoya said in response to a question. The new schedule has a cushion of 425 minutes over the minimum number that must be offerred, making a number of minimum days for the purpose possible.
However, the principal said "we want to leave ourselves a little cushion."
The new schedule's effect on Logan's co-curricular activities such as band, athletics and forensics were also raised. Montoya acknowledged that some students might have more difficulty arranging their schedules to allow them to participate, and may have to choose between core academic classes and extra activities. He said Logan's master scheduler, Chris Ryan, is working on ways to get students the schedules they want, but, he acknowledged, "More of our students will have to make those kinds of choices."
On the plus side, he said, the new schedule potentially does make life easier for future seniors who keep their grades up as underclassmen. Such seniors will be able to opt to come to school late or leave early under the new plan.