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Dublin Parents Debate Proposed Longer School Day at Dublin High School

May 7, 2015

Dublin High SchoolAn important debate is playing out at Dublin High School regarding a proposed schedule change that would introduce a mandatory 7th period, extend the school day by up to 32 minutes, and add at least $500,000 to the budget based on current estimates. The proposal was first introduced at the March 24th School Board Meeting and was summarized by in mid-April (read more…)

The proposed plan requires approval by the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees. The first opportunity for a vote on the proposal is at the Tuesday May 12th School Board Meeting which starts at 5:30pm (7471 Larkdale Ave.
Dublin, CA). Attendance by parents and students is strongly recommended as there will be an opportunity for the community to provide input regarding the decision.

To help continue the debate from a parent perspective, below are two letters provided to by parents of Dublin High School students. One letter is in favor of the proposed change, and one letter is in opposition to the proposed change. Parents are also encouraged to watch a District video of the April 30 School Board Special Work Session which was solely focused on debating the proposed change. We also received a letter from a Dublin High School science teacher in support of the proposal.

Letter from a Dublin parent opposed to the proposed schedule change (excerpt): “Imagine the headline: ‘Dublin School Board cuts 3 weeks from DHS classes.’ The proposed schedule shortens instructional class time from 56 minutes to either 53 or 51 minutes. That is 5 or 9% of the total class time (2 or 3 weeks over the course of the year), depending on which schedule is adopted. This is not a recipe for improving student learning: less time for lecture, less time for labs, less time for tests, less time for discussion, less time for Q&A, less time for in-class help, and so on. I have heard that many DHS teachers when surveyed raised this as their primary concern about the proposal.” Continue reading...

Letter from a Dublin parent in support of the proposed schedule change (excerpt): “There are currently 2,069 students at DHS. Of those 2,069 Students, 660 individual students have at least one D or F. That’s 32% of our kids. Thirty two percent! Just short of 1/3 of our students have at least one D of F. We pride ourselves on being a ‘high performing’ school. How can we call ourselves a high performing school when 32% of our kids cannot maintain Cs or better? Last year’s D and F number was 711, which represented 37.44% percent of the students. With just the changes that were made in a single year, they have brought the D and F rate down from 37% to 32%. Think of what could be done when the resources and time are in place to help all students who are struggling in all subjects.” Continue reading…

Letter from a Dublin High School science teacher in support of the proposed schedule change (excerpt): “I am writing to offer my input on the 7 period day. As a teacher at DHS and parent of an incoming freshman student, I am strongly in support of the change. In fact, my high-performing soon-to-be freshman was super excited to hear that from 10th grade on she would have a Gael period during the day to get her work done. And I am not concerned about teaching Science, labs or otherwise, within a 52 minute period. It’s been done by plenty of Science teachers before me, and will only require minor adjustments.” Continue reading…

Superintendent Dr. Hanke, the Dublin High School administration and a majority of DHS teachers have consistently been in support of the proposal. During the April 30 School Board Special Work Session, however, Superintendent Dr. Hanke stated (at approx. 71 minutes), “We all philosophically agree that providing time and support for kids during the day is what we’re after, but the logistical issue is the challenge here … What I don’t want to do is start something and fail because we missed a logistical issue … I do not believe we have the logistics tight enough today, and that we’ll get them tight enough by June 30, in time for the 2015-16 school year. Having said that, it doesn’t diminish the work that has already been done … Let’s make sure we get this right.”

Additional resource:

  1. vikkifrazier permalink
    May 8, 2015 6:26 am

    I have four children, and they run the gamut in their academic abilities.
    Two are graduated, one from DHS and one from Valley. I currently have a sophomore and a seventh grader.
    One of my children, learns differently than the others. Giving him more of the same and making his day longer would have been torture. Pulling him (yes, I asked for him to be removed.) from DHS and sending him to Valley was the best decision we ever made.
    He was failing in a standard classroom and his learning spirit was completely broken. He hated school and he hated learning. ( After attending Valley his whole attitude about school and learning changed, he was once again engaged in education.)
    By giving my son a longer day, and more of the same style of teaching, would not have been the answer for him.
    I’m going to assume that some of these kids at DHS the are getting D’s and F’s have DIFFERENT learning and teaching needs. Not just MORE.

    • guest permalink
      May 8, 2015 12:53 pm

      The whole point of this plan is not to give them more of the same. It’s to give them something different – an additional way to get help during the day, or get independent work accomplished.

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