UPDATE: SJSD to Unify School Schedules, Cut Staff to Save Millions

District officials said if the schools enforce a unified seven period a day schedule, it will save the district $2.85 million.

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 7:37 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2017 10:45 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) With looming budget cuts for the St. Joseph School District, teachers are feeling the pressure.

On Monday, the district unanimously decided to reduce staff size by enforcing a unified seven period a day schedule. School board members said this will save the district $2.8 million.

“It’s really about driving towards efficiency in the schedule," Chris Hubbuch, director of secondary education, said. "It requires less staff to operate a seven period schedule rather than a traditional block schedule.”

Moving forward with this option means 16.5 full time positions will be cut from middle schools and 33.5 full time positions from high schools.

“None of the decisions they [school district] are making are going to be happy or popular or cause relief for employees," Lori Witham, Truman Middle School teacher, said. "They’re going to cause families to be upset. There is just no good answer, there is no good solution.”

Next school year all middle school and high school students will switch to a seven classes a day schedule, with teachers teaching 6 of 7 periods.

Witham said because high school students are use to a four block a day schedule, the changes would affect them the most.

“That’s going to be tough for some of these kids to adjust to," Witham said. "They have become accustomed to every other day, they’ve got more time with a teacher, more focus in class.”

Hubbuch said it costs the district about $1.9 million to run the current block schedule for the high schools.

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