Photo from Flickr user jacobyarborough/ Creative Commons.
The seventh-period bell schedule was proposed as a way to allow students to better access classes they need for both college or career paths, while still meeting basic graduation requirements.
It also allows more access to Advanced Placement classes, for coaches to offer athletes a seventh-period, and for students to take core electives, to name a few.
But for teachers, an extra period means an extra class of teaching, more students, and more assignments to grade with no extra compensation ”“ all within the same 7 and a half ”“hour day (per teacher contracts).
Other high schools in Los Angeles Unified have implemented seventh and eighth-period bell schedules, but the teacher’s union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), requires teachers at the individual school to approve the schedule changes.
The school’s principal Bruce Bivins said he would be meeting with staff after spring break to discuss the complexities of the situation. In an email sent to staff and community members, he called on those who voted against the change to come up with a plan to be competitive and address students’ needs.
Seventy-seven teachers voted against the move, while 55 teachers voted yes. Eight teachers did not participate, and one person abstained.
The vote is binding for the 2015-2016, but can be re-voted on for following years.