It has been a week since I spoke at the last BOE meeting and I still believe that we should keep the current schedule at the High School. I do want to point out that I'm supportive of whatever the High School Administration decides to do. I may not agree with the details of the changes, but I do understand that there are problems with our current schedule.
I think that these issues are preventable, but unfortunately nothing has been done as a district to adequately deal with them, and a schedule change may be necessary if no other solutions are acted upon. It seems that over the years, there have been opportunities for budget changes that would allocate more resources such as tables and supervisors to the lunch period, and for whatever reason these opportunities were not acted upon. I am hopeful that a solution can be found among the Board of Education and the Administration that does not involve a schedule change.
In my opinion as a student, there is no one in the community with a better perspective on the issue than Dr. Johnson, and if he proposes a change to the schedule or the budget, there is probably a really important reason behind it. He has done a fantastic job as an administrator, and put's student priorities over anything when it comes to making decisions.
I think the Board should really try to work this one through, and see if there is an alternative to the schedule changes. Maybe now that they are seeing what the current schedule means to students, teachers, and parents, they will be more willing to work out a solution. Schedule changes are a normal part of every school's routine, however the one that is being proposed has some obvious ripple effects that many people seem adverse to.
I do believe that a solution can be found that doesn't involve changing the schedule. Perhaps it will involve a change in the budget, and if it does, I believe it would be worth it. People are seeing how valuable the schedule we have is, and the estimated costs of keeping the schedule are outweighed by the benefits we can gain from it.
There are 1200 students who will be going to college soon, and over 100 educators making a living who operate within this schedule, and from what I can tell, it works pretty well. Sparta is a thriving community, and the High School has been consistently ranked the best in Sussex County, and one of the top schools in the state.
Schools like Mendham and Chatham also operate with similar schedules, the main difference being the resources allocated to their lunch periods. We as a community need to come together and really demonstrate how important this issue is. I have faith in our elected representatives that they too will realize the importance of the situation, and act on it. I do not believe we need to change the schedule, but unless something else is done to ensure the adequate supervision of students during lunch, the changes will be inevitable and necessary.