Letter: School budget cuts will undo a great Mt. Hope initiative

Posted 5/30/19

Nearly two years ago, after years of study and planning, Mt. Hope High School switched to block scheduling. Under this system, students attend eight classes, which are split between two schedule …

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Letter: School budget cuts will undo a great Mt. Hope initiative

Posted

Nearly two years ago, after years of study and planning, Mt. Hope High School switched to block scheduling. Under this system, students attend eight classes, which are split between two schedule days, rather than the rotating seven-period-day which is standard at most schools. The benefits are numerous: longer class periods, allowing for deeper learning; less time spent in the hallway; a more-manageable homework schedule, since classes meet every other day; and the opportunity for students to explore their interests by taking an extra elective class.

This schedule has proven to be incredibly beneficial, and is one of the few school initiatives in memory that has elicited a positive reaction from students, teachers, and administrators alike.

However, due to the $2.5 million budget shortfall, the Joint Finance Committee has forced Mt. Hope to set aside this bold, positive step, and reluctantly return to a seven-period rotation. Staff members are being let go, and the lesson plans and professional development done by teachers to enact these changes will end up being wasted.

Most importantly, student learning and school culture will suffer.

In your editorial, “The Joint Finance Committee goes old school,” dated March 28, you ask, “Which programs, technology and personnel can survive, and which ones cannot? School-age families have a right to feel nervous.”

We now know the answer. I urge the parents and students of the Bristol Warren Regional School District to make their feelings about these changes known.

David Lauria
Barrington

Mr. Lauria is choral director at Mt. Hope High School.

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