SMUHSD - Vote NO on the quarter system proposal!
THANKS TO YOUR OVERWHELMING SUPPORT, THE QUARTER SYSTEM PROPOSAL WAS WITHDRAWN FROM THE RECOMMENDATION!
Dear Dr. Skelly, Dr. Black, and SMUHSD Board of Trustees,
We are strongly opposed to the District’s recommended Quarter System Schedule to be presented to the School Board on June 11, 2020. We urge you to consider other options.
Reasons that the quarter system is BAD for our students and teachers:
- No precedent - no school has ever used this method before. It’s unproven and is significantly different than existing 4x4 systems that allow students to take classes from start to finish with no breaks. Quarter system has 3 breaks
- Expects students to cover twice the amount of material in half the amount of instruction time.
- Teachers will have to completely change their curriculum and lesson plans on top of the burden of re-developing their programs for DL and blended learning.
- Due to the breaks, teachers will have to spend time bringing students up to speed, while still having to cram material into half the time (an issue at the beginning of ALL four quarters)
- Subjects taught during Q3 - students will go almost the equivalent of 2 summer breaks before returning to that subject the following fall
- Q3 AP students will be prepping for their AP test with no class time.
- Q4 AP students will be learning a semester’s worth of material in 6 weeks (vs. 9 for Q3 students since AP tests are given in early May)
- Students will be prepping for ALL their AP tests in Q4 while trying to cram in all the Q4 course material for their other classes
- College Board reported students on 4x4 systems have scored lower on some AP tests than students who took yearlong courses (https://www.aasa.org/schooladministratorarticle.aspx?id=14852
- Student schedules are not guaranteed to be load balanced (they may have all difficult classes in odd quarters and easier ones in the even quarters)
- Already overburdened counselors and master schedulers will be overwhelmed by course change requests
- ELD students and those who learn with stated modifications being forced to learn at an accelerated rate is troublesome.
- Year-long classes (such as Leadership / Band / Orchestra / Yearbook / Choir) as well as PE and some AP classes will be moved to the 7th “skinny period”. If students wish to take more than one of these, they will most likely not be able to.
- A LARGE portion of the student body will be taking 7th period skinny classes (due to all the classes being put in that category). All these students will need to eat lunch at school (de-masking is dangerous)
- Does NOT allow for a transition into full time at school learning if this occurs in the middle of a quarter.
- Does NOT allow for a smooth transition to full time/full schedule learning at the end of Q2 either. Teachers will have to completely change their curriculum to adjust.
- This model encourages and assumes students will take alternative coursework NOT at their high school (community colleges/online schools)
- Transportation to/from 7th skinny period for students not in school that morning may be challenging if not impossible for some
- If a student or teacher falls ill, making up lost time will be challenging due to the accelerated rate.
- Substitute teachers will be forced to teach at the accelerated rate as well.