Staff votes against bell schedule change

Staff votes against bell schedule change

Jaya Flanary, Features Editor
Originally published April 28, 2015

Last week, the Seattle Education Association staff (including BHS teachers, instructional assistants and clerical staff) voted on the school’s possible bell schedule change. The vote presented them two options: keeping our current schedule or switching to a modified block schedule recently proposed by Principal Keven Wynkoop.

The block schedule needed two-thirds of the votes to take effect. The block schedule received 20 votes, the current schedule received 82 votes and 22 staff members did not vote. The bell schedule will not be changing next year.

Past votes for a block schedule have been much closer than last week’s vote. In 2003, 72 voted no while 51 voted yes; in 2006, 65 voted no while 56 voted yes; in 2010, 72 voted no while 49 voted yes.

According to Wynkoop, data has shown that block schedules don’t show any overall improvement in student test scores. Changing to this type of schedule would instead benefit the instruction in the classroom, presenting both students and teachers with more class time and opportunities.

Prior to the vote, Wynkoop searched for staff feedback in order to understand what they liked and disliked in a daily schedule. This research allowed him to narrow down the final options that the staff voted on.

Although the schedule is not changing next year, it will have to change in a few years to meet upcoming state requirements.