Changes in school schedule put on the slow track

Things may change at Liberty, then again they may not.

Things may change at Liberty, then again they may not.

On May 12, Issaquah School District Superintendent Dr. Steve Rasmussen sent a letter out to the Liberty community addressing the onslaught of letters the district has received regarding potential changes to the block schedule.

“As I reflect on the many messages I’ve received and the conversations I’ve had with students, staff, parents and colleagues regarding the block schedule change at Liberty High School, I want to first acknowledge that I misstepped in the process and delivery of my message,” Rasmussen wrote. “I will do better.”

Currently Liberty High School has a modified block schedule consisting of two four-period days. Each period lasts about 90 minutes and students can take eight different classes each semester.

After the district announced that they may change this schedule for one that has more core classes and less electives, namely a six period day, dozens wrote in upset about the change.

“The eight periods a day that my sons have the opportunity to take and the additional classes, make their high school education superior to that they could have received at Issaquah or Skyline high school,” Liberty parent Robin Callahan said at the school board meeting on May 14.

The new schedule was set to take place to start in the fall of 2009. However, the district is now going to spend the summer defining their scope of work­ — everything that impacts student learning will be on the table for evaluation. Once school starts the administration will work with students, staff and the community to study how a student learns best. By January of 2009 the district will release their operational definition and then, through June, the district will design a new common high school schedule. That final schedule will be released sometime in September to December. The new schedule will take place in the 2010-2011 school year.