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LA Unified officials taking aim at Jefferson schedule problems

LA School Report | October 9, 2014

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Jefferson High LAUSD* UPDATED

Officials from LA Unified and Jefferson High School met for several hours today as they began to address the issues that have led to students at the school losing instruction time over scheduling problems.

The meeting came in direct response to a ruling yesterday by a state judge that requires state and district officials to correct on-going circumstances that have left students without classes during the school day.

“A District team met today with Jefferson Senior High School administrators and teachers to work on resolving scheduling issues,” LA Unified said in a one-paragraph statement. “They also identified any resources needed to meet the academic needs of students. The District looks forward to sharing this plan with the state, as outlined by the court.”

Officials from the teachers union, UTLA, met separately today with Jefferson personnel and developed a separate action plan.

The court directed LA Unified to develop an action plan for resolving issues in time to be presented at the Oct. 14 school board meeting.

The effort is now underway, led by Senior Deputy Superintendent Michelle King. The court order had ordered Superintendent John Deasy to lead the effort, but he left today for an eight-day trip to South Korea, after appointing King to lead the district team.

The focus of the challenge is Jefferson’s daily classroom schedule, which has been in effect for several years and generally includes two periods a day for teacher conferences. While district high schools have the freedom to devise their own daily schedules, most operate with only one period a day for teacher conferences.

As a result, said a district official with knowledge of today’s meeting, the solution rests in finding a balance that takes into account scheduling autonomy granted by the district, Jefferson teachers and UTLA.

The introduction this year of a new student-tracking system, known as MiSiS, “has only exacerbated” the situation, the official said, dismissing any assertions that MiSis “caused” the problems because the school’s scheduling pattern was in effect last year, as well.

The teachers union reported late this afternoon that the Jefferson faculty has developed a five-point proposal to address the problems at the school. The union said its president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, and a union vice president, Juan Ramirez, met with more than 50 Jefferson staff members, who proposed a five-point to deal with the scheduling issues:

  • Extend the instructional day to make up for lost classroom time.
  • Offer additional foundations and college-prep classes.
  • Redo the schedule of classes in the second semester to better serve students. (
  • Inform and involve parents.
  • Address other issues related to instructional time, such as filling vacancies with permanent teachers and reducing class sizes.

“The Jefferson faculty has always had the best interests of students at heart,” said Katherine Harrison, Jefferson’s UTLA chapter chair. “We are prepared to do anything possible to help our students succeed.”

Previous Posts: JUST IN: Judge orders state intervention at Jefferson HSComputer problems spur a student walkout at Jefferson High

*Adds information about UTLA meeting and action plan.

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