School may switch to eight period schedule

Credit recovery, art classes would be added to offerings

   In order for students to have more electives and teachers to have more planning time,  Fremont is considering an eight-period schedule.
Oakland Unified School District has proposed that Fremont, along with Castlemont and McClymonds, adopt an eight-period schedule instead of the current six-period schedule to improve achievement, said Principal Emiliano Sanchez.
   Although an exact schedule has not been set, students would most likely have four block period classes each day: periods one through four would be on one day, and periods five through eight on the next day. Minimum Wednesdays would continue.
   Students who heard about the proposal from Green & Gold reporters were surprised and mixed in their reactions.
   “I would like it,” said Mandela junior Meleane Fifita. “It makes life easier” to have more chances to meet graduation requirements.
Angel Guzman, a junior at Mandela, sees pros and cons.
   “It might mean more work,” he said. “But if it helps people, it’s okay.”
   However, freshman James Sutton said it upsets him that there might be an additional two classes next year.
   “We already have enough classes,” he said.
   Sanchez said that if the plan is approved, credit recovery and art classes would be available. He also said he believes the new schedules would make it easier for students to do internships when they are seniors.
   Video production teacher Jasmene Miranda likes the idea of the schedule and what it could do for students.
   “It will prepare them in the work force and college,” said Miranda.
   Teachers would benefit by having two conference periods instead of one, said Sanchez. This would make it easier for the school to follow a state law that requires teachers in an academy to have a shared conference period so that they can work together to improve student achievement and plan projects. Currently,  Fremont does not offer this to most academy teachers, although freshman core teachers do have a shared planning period.
   The schedule has not yet been adopted in part due to the additional funding that will be necessary to offer more electives and non-teaching periods for teachers.
   Sanchez estimates that the eight-period schedule will cost 13 percent more than the six-period schedule, and he does not know where the money will come from.
   However, Gary Yee, interim superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, told Fremont faculty last week that he is committed to helping with resources.