Baldwinsville Editor's note: The Baldwinsville Board of Education has decided not to cut the number of class periods at Baker High School this fall after receiving emails, calls and having conversations with parents, students and teachers; there will still be staff reductions and the board may revisit the issue in future years.
A proposed budget cut has people up in arms in Baldwinsville.
Well over 100 concerned parents and students attended the Baldwinsville Board of Education meeting Monday, March 19, many asking the board to rethink current plans to change class schedules from nine periods a day to eight, which would result in an approximate $625,000 savings for the district. The change could also mean the layoff of 7.5 full-time employees.
One Durgee Junior High ninth-grader said that from a student’s perspective the change in scheduling “would be very unfair.”
Though the change would only affect students at C.W. Baker High School — junior high students will stay to a nine-period day to get in all required core classes — up and coming high schoolers feared not having a ninth period would mean the difference between taking all the electives they hope to and not.
“The shortening of class periods will adversely affect students,” said high school student Chandra Hewitt.
Hewitt, who attended the meeting as a representative of the student body, approached the board with a petition signed by 663 of her fellow classmates in grades nine through 12 who are opposed to the scheduling change because they feel by shortening the amount of periods students may lose their competitiveness.
“Students will no longer have the opportunity to explore options,” she said. “Students are not in favor of cutting a period out of the current school day.”
Baker student Amanda Pucello also argued that the district would be taking away options for students in the coming years and that having so many electives offered gives kids the ability to explore their interests, providing them a head start in choosing a college.