Some parents upset after Md. school changes schedule

WASHINGTON – “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” That’s essentially the message from parents fighting to preserve the status quo at Silver Spring International Middle School in Silver Spring, Md.

The school has decided to alter the class schedule to have seven daily class periods versus the currently used eight.

“Over a third of the kids at this school take either a double math or a double reading class to catch up,” parent Gabriel Gonzalez says.

An eight period “allows them still to take an elective – kids who otherwise wouldn’t have art or music,” he says.

Other parents fear the quality of teaching will be compromised when teachers lose a block of time many use as a planning period.

School Principal John W. Haas tells WTOP no decisions have been made yet as to how the schedule change will be implemented.

“We will look at all the models, all the different types of schedules out there,” Haas says.

Parents have appealed the schedule change to Montgomery County School Superintendent Joshua Starr. It’s currently being reviewed by Starr’s designee Chief Operating Officer. There’s no word on when a ruling will be made.

Unless the superintendent intervenes Haas says a plan for implementing a seven period schedule is expected in January 2014.

Hass says the school day starts at 7:50 a.m. and the kids are done at 2:40 p.m. — parents shouldn’t be caught up in how many class periods that contains.

“What I’m focusing on is instruction. How we can continue to provide quality education based on the time period that’s given,” Haas says.

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