Year-Round Schools in L.A.

Your article on year-round schools (Jan. 13) almost makes the board’s plan sound attractive. And maybe it is--although, as a secondary school teacher in Los Angeles for the past 20 years, I imagine the rosy picture is more a product of the board’s public relations department than a realistic assessment of what actually goes on in the classroom. But assuming that the board’s coming vote will be a mere formality and that the year-round plan will be instituted, I have a few questions not discussed in The Times that I feel need addressing:

--Economics aside, how educationally beneficial is year-round schooling? Does research show that kids learn more or less in such a program?

--If it now takes at least 3 to 4 weeks to get all of our high school students programmed into their classes, how many more days and weeks will be lost juggling students’ class loads at the starts of the proposed different terms?

--How much valuable counseling time will also be lost to the scheduling of classes when so much must be done in the area of teen-counseling? Are much needed drug-abuse and suicide-prevention programs going to be largely ignored as counselors are buried by even more paper work than they have now?

I hope that I am wrong; I hope the plan the board adopts will help all of our students develop to their fullest capabilities. But when the same people who manage a school system that already has more than a 40% dropout rate are attempting ever more sweeping changes, I can only wonder.

And worry.


Los Angeles