Editor’s Note: These below letters were originally sent to the Coronado Unified School Board on Friday, March 26th, 2021
Good Afternoon Trustees Pontes, Valdes-Clayton, Anderson-Cruz, Keszei, and Antrim,
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I have attached a word document with individual letters drafted for your collective consideration about the 4×4 schedule that the CUSD is intending to implement for the 2021-2022 school year at Coronado High School. A hard copy of each of these letters will also be provided to the District Office before the close of business on Friday, March 26, 2021.
The English Department, Fine Arts Department, History Department, Math Department, Physical Education Department, Science Department, Special Education Department, and World Language Department have each written a separate letter to you, our School Board, to share with you the grave concerns we have about implementing the proposed 4×4 schedule. Each department has drafted a letter about how students in their department would be negatively impacted by the proposed 4×4 schedule. Each letter from a department includes the individual teachers from that department who oppose implementing a 4×4 schedule.
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We collectively recommend that the CUSD Board of Trustees reconsider implementing this 4×4 schedule and we expect that the CUSD Board of Trustees will take immediate action to add this to a Board Agenda at its earliest convenience.
Casey Tanaka, on behalf of all aforementioned CHS Teachers on the attached 8 letters.
History/Social Studies Department
The History/Social Studies Department of Coronado High School is writing to notify the Coronado Unified School District Board of Trustees and the public of its concerns with the 4×4 schedule being proposed for the 2021-2022 school year. The following are some of the reasons why our department feels strongly that this 4×4 format will have a noticeably negative impact on student learning and student well-being:
- While moving to a 4×4 schedule might allow our students to take more classes, these classes will have to be run in half the amount of time. This means the relationships between students and teachers at CHS will be built over one semester rather than over an entire school year. Students and teachers at CHS have long believed that these relationships, sometimes nurtured over multiple school years, have been a big part of the positive experience of attending CHS. The quality of the relationships built at CHS will be significantly diminished if we as an institution focus on pushing students through their courses in half the amount of time.
- In the History/Social Studies Department, a larger number of students take the AP offering, per grade level, than they do the College Prep option. Our AP classes are generally survey courses meant to last an entire school year. Our textbooks are written for adult audiences and are not meant to be taught in a semester. A student taking an AP History course will be expected to read, comprehend, and retain material covering over 1,000 pages in an AP History class, and will have only a semester to do so. This will add stress to the lives of our CHS students.
- If a student misses a week in a class that only lasts a semester, it will be a difficult hurdle to overcome. Units that take two to three weeks in our current format will need to be accelerated to roughly one or one and a half weeks.
- AP Exams are scheduled for the first two weeks of May. This means that any AP Class in the second semester will have to cover a full year of material in less than one semester. This will again produce a more difficult schedule to get students through a 1,000+ page textbook while only having the months of February, March, and April to do so. This is not an improvement over our current yearlong schedule. All AP classes in the second semester will labor under this constraint. Our master schedule will also have to be constructed to put a disproportionate number of its AP offerings in the first semester to overcompensate for this systemic flaw of the 4×4 format.
- Placing a disproportionate number of rigorous classes in the first semester means that the new Master Schedule for the History/Social Studies Department will likely create uneven teaching assignments and new limitations. If a student has to drop an AP class the first semester, that class will not likely be offered again in the second semester.
- A change to a 4×4 schedule in August of 2021 would mark the 4th format…