LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Semester based learning or yearlong classes? It’s a debate CCSD trustees grappled with at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, eventually going with a split decision.
It has some teachers wondering, how will this all work?
“It came out of nowhere, so no one was prepared that was going to enter the conversation.”
That’s how Carmen Andrews, a Spanish teacher at Nevada Learning Academy, reacted to the school board decision.
It approved a plan to have semester-based scheduling for middle schools and normal year-long scheduling with discretion for high schools. Middle schoolers will take different courses each semester. Andrews teaches classes at both levels and has a mixture of middle and high schoolers in her classes. She says this means she’ll likely have to treat her students as two separate groups on two different learning tracks.
“And now that’s double the work for me because I’m not doing things at the same time for all the students,” she said.
The board’s decision is a relief for a middle school staff member.
“So, we were planning on that and we’re glad that it didn’t change.”
Cris Baker is a Title 1 strategist at Mack Middle School and works with teachers there. She says the semester-based schedule is more workable at the middle school levels.
Baker believes the split decision was made as high schools would have a harder time fitting a year-long class in one semester due to concerns over AP and IB testing. She believes the new schedule will be an adjustment for her teachers but had confidence it may work out.
“It will keep us hyper-focused on the standards and we’ll make sure and get the learning done with no messing around,” she said.
Andrews says despite her questions and concerns, she’s committed to helping her students…no matter what the schedule may be.
“I just hope that people remember that teachers always rise to the occasion with whatever we’re given and do what we can do, I just hope we don’t become the last-minute scapegoat of very last-minute decision making,” she said.
CCSD says it will be creating a parent guide to help answer many common questions and they plan to send it to parents in the coming weeks. The first day of classes is August 24.