By ERIN ROLL
Glenfield Middle School will be sticking with its nine-period schedule for the time being.
Montclair Public Schools Superintendent Kendra Johnson sent a notice to parents Friday afternoon informing them that the school would remain with its current schedule for the 2019-20 school year.
The district is also convening a panel of educators to evaluate Glenfield’s schedule and bring it more in line with state standards, including for allowing sufficient time for English/Language Arts and physical education.
Another team of educators is being formed to help address the way the school communicates with the public, according to the letter.
“We convened another Glenfield Middle School educator team to create an internal and external communication protocol,” Johnson said in the letter. “We want all stakeholders to be aware of work-to-date as well as provide opportunities to give feedback.”
The school has been weighing a move to a block schedule for the 2019-2020 school year. However, the proposal was criticized by students, parents and teachers.
The district’s explanation for the schedule was that students were not getting enough time in certain core classes, including physical education, to meet state requirements. The district claims that the block-schedule model would include more time for core classes, while allowing students to continue taking arts electives.
At the June 17 BOE meeting, staff said they had not been asked for any input on the new schedule, while students and parents expressed fears that the new schedule would be detrimental to the school’s fine and performing arts curriculums. Some parents have worried that arts would end up becoming after-school activities.
The timing of the new schedule also came into question; Glenfield has had three principals over the past 12 months, including current principal Cheryl Hopper, who will be leaving at the end of the month.
A petition, urging the school to hold off on changing the schedule until families and teachers had been able to give input, and until a new principal had been hired at the school, had 538 signatures as of June 21.