Stand Against Virtual Schedule Changes at Sayville High School

Stand Against Virtual Schedule Changes at Sayville High School

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Justin Doucet started this petition to Parents and

On October fifth, the parents and faculty of Sayville School District were notified of the changes being made to the Wednesday school schedule. The original schedule was fifteen minute classes from 7:30 AM to 10:01 AM. The updated schedule is twenty minute classes from 7:30 AM-9:18AM, then, there is an extended break from 9:19AM to 1:08PM. The second “section” of teaching is from 1:09 PM-2:35PM. In the email sent to the parents, the almost four hour “break” in between the two different class sections is for “professional development in order to best deliver hybrid teaching.” The time is used for thoughtful planning as well as grading students’ work to determine whether a student has become “disengaged”. This “thoughtful planning” includes determining whether a certain activity is “better suited for an in-person day vs. which can be completed more easily online.” Hybrid learning requires time and creativity in adapting lessons “for activities designed for a traditional classroom environment”.

There has been a post on Facebook that has been going around, in which explains that part of the reason for the sudden change in the schedule was due to the fact that students had been seen in the town of Sayville some time after the Wednesday school day was over. Supposedly, there was a conflict in which these students were acting inappropriately, and the parent of home schooled children filed a complaint to the Board of Education as well as to the Superintendent. Ultimately, the school district should not be held accountable for the actions of students. It is the responsibility of parents to know where their children are at all times. It is not the responsibility of teachers, who are at work preparing lessons for their students. In the span of the updated schedule, students may still leave their houses if they are not being held accountable at home. Again, a parent issue, NOT a teacher issue! Students need this time to catch up on their work...teachers need this time for professional development and planning...the custodial staff needs this time for DEEP CLEANING of our buildings in order to keep this environment safe for all!

Additionally, the updated schedule poses a real disruption of the “flow” of the school day. There has never been a time during a school day where there has been an extended “break”, and then students and teachers then resumed classes to finish out the day. This disrupts the consistency of the day for both the students and faculty. There are many students who happen to have the bulk of their academic classes at the end of the school day. This updated schedule will not afford them sufficient time to properly utilize the break in the middle of the day, as the bulk of their work would be disseminated in the latter half of the day. For example, I have two academic classes within the first five periods of the school day. Therefore, I will have to complete the bulk of my workload at the conclusion of the school day, rather than utilizing the block of time initially set aside for this work. The original schedule has provided consistency and fluidity for teachers and students alike. Students are engaged for the nine straight periods, and then are permitted a block of time to complete all classwork and homework that is assigned for the remainder of the day. Lastly, many upperclassmen have committed to working immediately following the regular school day, excluding the optional tenth period (2:05-2:35). The updated schedule prevents students from meeting their commitments, thus negatively affecting the life of the students. Students are trying to take responsibility for their schoolwork, as well as trying to emerge as mature, responsible adults. This conflict will have a major impact on the life of a working teenager.

The faculty and staff of Sayville Schools have been working extremely hard in order to provide what’s best for the students in this time of uncertainty and change. I think that returning the schedule back to the nine straight periods would allow the teachers to have the second half of the school day in order to plan their lessons and participate in professional development in order to provide us, their students, with the best instruction possible! It is crucial that we try to make this as educationally sound as possible for both students and faculty. We have all faced an inordinate amount of stress throughout this pandemic and we must work collaboratively in order to make this ideal for all.

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