Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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Facts vs. Rumors

Posted December 12, 2018

 

Rumor: I hear that a schedule change for MBMS is under consideration. If that’s the case, when is it likely to take effect?

 

FactThe MBMS faculty has begun discussing possible schedule changes that could be submitted for approval. The Board has not been involved in this conversation to this point. There is no single schedule under consideration, but some of the ideas under consideration are ones that have been discussed in the Board’s quest for improved social emotional wellness for our students, including longer class periods, some form of a block schedule, advisory or student support alternative, moving the before-school “zero period” to an after-school period, maintaining a seven-period schedule, and moving back to a six-period schedule. The earliest the Board would begin discussing possible schedule changes for MBMS would be spring of 2019, but it would be challenging to implement a significant schedule change prior to the 2020-21 school year. If this came to the Board, it would be something that would be discussed at several meetings, with multiple opportunities for stakeholder input, before being decided upon.

 

  • How would this impact electives for 7th and 8th graders?  
Since no option has been determined, it is impossible to say what impact a new schedule would have. If one of the options presented to the Board is a six-period schedule, there could be an impact on elective classes. There are many districts we could visit to determine what impact this could have on programs such as foreign language, music, and other electives.
 
  • How would this impact the music department? Will this mean losing a level of orchestra?
Again, since no option has been determined, it is impossible to say what impact a new schedule would have, but there are equally high quality music programs that exist within alternative schedules, including six period schedules. MBUSD has modeled their music program on the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District, one of the first districts to receive recognition from the Grammy Foundation. The SMMUSD music program has been thriving for decades, and both the middle schools and the high schools have a six-period day.
 
  • Would this mean an incoming 9th grader would not be prepared to take Year Two of a modern language, and therefore lose the opportunity to take an AP level modern language course in 12th grade?
All possible schedule configurations would allow students to enter 9th grade prepared for year two of a world language with the opportunity to take an AP level modern language course in 12th grade.