Accommodation for PLC may lead to changes to daily schedule


Isha Sanghvi

After gathering 160 student responses –44 sophomores, 43 freshmen, and 73 juniors– The Voice closed the survey and analyzed the results. 91 respondents (56.9%) voted in favor of the second proposal, 48 respondents (30%) voted in favor of the current schedule, and 21 respondents (13.1%) voted in favor of the first proposal.

Ayush Patel, Student Life Editor

On May 2, Irvington faculty will vote on whether or not Irvington should modify its current schedule in order to collaborate with a Professional Learning Community (PLC), a group of Irvington teachers who regularly meet, share expertise, and work together in order to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. According to Principal Sarah Barrious, teachers will have the opportunity to vote to change the length of school days among several other propositions.

These 20 to 25 additional propositions include deciding a date for Back-to-School Night, buying out responsibilities for the RC, and hiring a tech support consultant. Teachers will also vote on daily schedules, which will involve lengthening block days and creating early release days or late start days in order to make time for potential PLC meetings.

“Approving [a PLC] would cause block days to lengthen to 3:05,” Principal Barrious said, “but on Monday, Tuesday, or Friday, we could get out at 2:05 or we could start at 9 o’clock. Generally speaking, our regular 6 period day has stayed the same for a really long time, and our block day schedule has stayed the same for a really long time. It’s the assembly schedules –elections, rallies, and other unique days– and the CASP test that we’ll still need to look for further change.”

Principal Barrious added that advisory would remain relatively unchanged, plus or minus a few minutes just like previous years and that students would still be directly in front of the teacher for the state-mandated 64,800 minutes.

“The idea for doing an early release or late start is to put the hour a week that they [the PLC] would meet inside the 8-3 school day,” Principal Barrious said. “On those late start or early release days, anybody not participating in the PLC will just show up at school at 9’o clock or just leave at 2:05 on that day.”

Although opting out of the vote is an option for teachers, Principal Barrious stated that not voting “doesn’t serve anybody.”

“What they [teachers] will opt out of is doing PLC’s work,” Principal Barrious said, “so that is 28 paid hours of working with the PLC. But I think the number of teachers who will opt out the PLC work will change by the start of the school year.”

On April 18, The Voice distributed a survey to freshmen, sophomore, and junior class Facebook pages in order to gather data regarding what the student body prefers. Students voted on whether they prefer keeping the current schedule, the first schedule proposal (lengthened block days and an undetermined early release day), or the second schedule proposal (lengthened block days and an undetermined late start day).

Though the proposed schedules are comforting for some, several staff members who commute from other cities who may dislike altering the 2:30 release time.

“There are teachers who often commute to Pleasanton, Livermore, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, so sometimes getting out at 2:30 is really nice because you can really beat the traffic,” Principal Barrious said. “There are going to be a lot of factors that weigh into it [the vote].”

Once staff members vote, students will be informed within several days regarding the results.

“Once the results come out, we’d have to do the instructional minutes for the whole school year,” Principal Barrious said, “We haven’t really been able to complete that until we know what the vote is because there is a possibility they elect not to change anything.”

In the survey given out to the student body, many respondents had mixed feelings regarding the schedule changes. For example, junior Andey Ng said that she prefers the current schedule due to conflicts with after school extracurriculars.

“Late start is just for lazy kids who stay up later the night before and sleep in,” Ng said. “The irregular scheduled early release days don’t allow us to do what we want because of its irregularity.”

After teachers vote on May 2, administration will inform students of the results.