SD 227 may bring back 7th period in 2014-15
Students in Rich Township High School District 227 lost a class period last school year, but it may return for the 2014-15 school year.
The daily schedule could have seven periods for 2014-15, gaining back a period that was cut for 2012-13 to ease the district’s budget deficit. Sixteen teachers were to be laid off to save $1.2 million, but 48 were actually let go along with 33 support staff and six administrators, saving District 227 about $5.5 million, according to the former administration.
“The problem we’re having right now is that we can’t hire all the teachers back that we laid off,” said Cheryl Coleman, who became board president with the election of a new board majority in the April election.
The district will be in the black by about $300,000 this school year, but that excess isn’t in the education fund, the main fund that pays teacher salaries and benefits and will have about a $1.6 million deficit, according to Michael Engel, the district’s director of finance and operations.
To work around that, Coleman instructed Assistant Supt. Cynthia Hudson to make room for a seventh class period by eliminating the student enrichment program that shares the lunch period.
While that program has value, it isn’t worth as much as enabling students to take another class, Coleman said.
“It’s all going to have to be revamped,” she said of the class schedule. “The good thing is, I see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.”
District administrators are talking with the teachers union to see if the change is feasible, she said.
“It’s only been (in place a year,” Coleman said of the six-period day. “It only takes one year to change it back.”