Central High School scheduling to change

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Lunenburg County School Board has changed the structure of the Central High School day beginning with the next academic year.

The board voted during its Monday, March 14, meeting to switch from its current regular block scheduling, consisting of four class periods each day for half of a year with four new classes for the last half of the year, to a seven-period school day.

“This is going to be beneficial to all your students,” board member Amy N. McClure said.

Board member Doug Aubel, who made the motion for the scheduling change, added that some classes, such as chemistry, will benefit from longer class period. Indeed, the motion allowed for additional credit for the longer classes beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.

“This decision is not made likely,” he said.

Superintendent Charles M. Berkley Jr. has told the board that block scheduling in the fall is no problem because students seldom miss time because of weather.

Students have already missed days this year because of weather.

Berkley has noted that a number of schools in the area have also gone back to the seven-period day.

Scheduling is a topic that has long been discussed by the board, and the vote followed the recommendation of a committee that had been set up to look at the issue. When the committee was created in February Berkley required it represent a “vast coverage of the county” and that its makeup include administrators from Central and the middle school, parents, teachers, several school board members, guidance counselor, and students.

But board member Elizabeth R. Williams, who represents Love’s Mill – District 5, was the only one to oppose the change, insisting that she said she did not believe the committee adequately represented the interest of parents. Williams said she spoke to parents in her district and many of them did not want the change.

Williams said it could disrupt the system’s improvements on Standard of Learning test as well as sports activities and homework.

“It’s just going too fast,” she said. “It’s a big change so fast.”