Corona del Mar High School administrators and teachers are considering ways to change the school’s bell schedule in order to create time to help struggling students, Principal Tim Bryan told members of the PTA at a meeting this morning.
“It’s actually a gigantic undertaking for us,” Bryan said. “Since the only real resource to help students is time, we have to carve out time.”
Teachers and administrators are brainstorming ways to find the extra time, Bryan said. One idea is to cut the passing time between classes from six minutes to five, creating a 35-minute extra period. Students who need extra help in a class would use that time to work with teachers, while students who are excelling would use the time for enrichment.
Parents expressed concerns that the extra time would be a nothing more than study hall for many students, but Bryan said there would be more to offer, although that too is in the planning stages. He also said that the extra time might come later in the day, which would help student athletes who often leave for away game and events during the school’s fifth period.
“There’s going to be structure,” said Middle School Principal Guy Olguin. “The end product is all of our students will be better students.”
School officials will work with teachers on a plan, which will need to be voted on by teachers and approved by the district. The principals said they anticipate that the new schedule will be in place in September.
The new schedule also will likely provide different lunch periods for middle school and high school students, Bryan said.
The PTA meeting also included an update from Vlad Anderson, the school’s police resource officer, who warned parents that marijuana and heroin use among teenagers is increasing. School board member Karen Yelsey also attended the meeting and said work on the school’s new theater likely would begin in January.