Iberia Parish parents and teachers not thrilled with incoming new block scheduling

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Photo by: Kyasia Hunt
Carey Laviolette, superintendent of Iberia Parish Schools said a meeting was held to vote for the schedule switch.

Kyasia Hunt
@KyasiaHunt

Iberia Parish students will be switching from a four-block schedule to a seven-block schedule for the 2020-2021 school year and parents and teachers are not happy about the new transition.

Iberia Parish has had a four-block schedule for 21 years. Carey Laviolette, the superintendent of Iberia Parish Schools, said the reason for the switch is because students must cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

Laviolette said that the change is beneficial, as they will have an entire year to prepare for LEAP testing, instead of just a few months. She admitted that students are nervous because they feel that they will have too many classes, but students won’t be graded as often because of the nine-week grading period.

“Students are afraid of change, but once they start doing it and see how engaged they are, I think they are going to be fine,” Laviolette said.

Since Iberia Parish is changing, St. Martin school district will be the only district that will have the 4-by-4 block scheduling.

“We will never do anything to hurt our kids,” Laviolette said. “We want them to have the same advantage as other neighboring schools.”

Many teachers and parents are not thrilled with the changes. Some teachers feel that the schedule change has something to do with the budget and will bring more workload on them. They were willing to speak out, but some teachers wanted to be anonymous.

Ron Hebert, a New Iberia High School teacher, said that switching schedules will take a toll on teachers.

“We’re getting double the work, double the preps, double the planning and double the grading all at one time,” Hebert said.

He said teachers will now have to take schoolwork home, which places an additional burden on their personal lives.

Julie Comeaux, an education parent mentor and parent, said she spoke at the school board meeting that occurred Wednesday Nov 6. for parents that have children with disabilities because they were afraid to speak out for fear retaliation.

She said that the seven-block scheduling will not be effective for kids that have special needs. She added that students with special needs are in regular classes with other students and they have a difficult time trying to catch up to their peers.

“Seven-block scheduling will not be effective for them because they have a difficult time transitioning as it is and the 4-by-4 scheduling is great for them because they don’t have to move from class to class frequently,” Comeaux said.

Interview with Carey Laviolette
By: Kyasia Hunt

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