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Changes applied to 2016 -2017 school year

Vivian Geilim, photo editor

Ben Shofet, business manager

Isaiah Freedman, staff writer

As a repercussion from Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) 2015-2016 visit, administration has been urged to make various modifications. According to principal David Jackson, the organization’s main concern dealt with a lack of structured staff collaboration.

One way to accommodate WASC’s requests is to amend the schedule to allow for more structured collaboration time between teachers and departments. Currently, the school has only eight days of structured collaboration.

“The teachers have proposed a schedule that still only has one class after lunch, but there would be 17 collaboration days,” Jackson said. “I have not seen the schedule, but at least 17 is double what we are doing now. That is our baby step for WASC, trying to be a better school. They said we need more structured collaboration and we’re going from eight to 17 if the proposed schedule pans out.”

As of now, there is only one change in place for the 2016-2017 school year. Rather than naming periods 1 through 7, they will now be named periods of 0 through 6.

Currently, there is no finalized bell schedule for the 2016-2017 school year. The challenge of having to increase the amount of staff collaboration while adhering to state legislation has been a challenge for those tasked with creating a new schedule.

“Teachers working on the schedule have to make sure that we are over 64,800 minutes of instructional class time. This schedule, which was a starting point, ended up with 64,872.

Lunch cannot start after 1:10, legally,” Jackson said. “We had a great idea for a schedule, but lunch began at 1:14, so we could not do it.”

Jackson stated that the proposed bell schedule that sparked controversy from the student body was merely the first of many to be proposed before any change is actually taken.

“The schedule that people got a hold of was something we put together to start the discussion,” Jackson said. “So, in ASB, they had some very large concerns because it had two periods after lunch and they didn’t like that because they were concerned since last period is a sports period and students would have to miss class before that to go to late games.”

One of the unintended side-effects of WASC’s demand is that it complicates an agreement Jackson made with the juniors earlier this year.

“We made an agreement with the juniors without knowing what WASC was going to say. I could not imagine that WASC would come after us the way they did. Then all of a sudden, our agreement with the juniors was out the door,” Jackson said.

This proposed schedule has created widespread opposition from the student body, and has been voiced by juniors Brian Arianpour, Jason Mehraban and Joseph Nouri.

“What caused us to make a petition was that a lot of people had been saying that they did not like the schedule and that it was going to hurt them,” Arianpour said. “I found out it was going to hurt me as well, so I decided to take action.”

The petition, according to Arianpour, held 430 signatures from all grades at the time of the interview.

“We want more signatures, and only two people I asked have rejected the petition. People are telling other people to come to us and sign the petition. This petition gives him a clear outlook of what the students want, opposed to what he wants or has to do,” Arianpour said.

Issues pertaining to students in sports, AP classes, jobs and students concurrently enrolled in Santa Monica College have all been addressed in the petition. However, the main concern for Arianpour lies on the promise that Jackson made to the junior class prior to taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in April.

The main objective, however, remains in accommodating WASC’s request for an increase in the amount of structured staff collaboration to ensure that Beverly Hills High School’s 2016-2017 school year is accredited by WASC.

“We just need to put together a better package for WASC so they see we are doing things right,” Jackson said.

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