By Liz Bowie
The Baltimore Sun
12:51 PM EST, February 12, 2014
Hereford High School parents and students packed the Baltimore County school board meeting Tuesday night to protest the change in high school schedules.
Carrying signs that said "No Voice, No Choice," the students said they didn't want to change their schedules to take double the number of classes in a semester.
Currently, Hereford students have four subjects taken each day in periods that are about 90 minutes long. The students then take four different subjects the next semester, for a total of eight classes in a year.
The new schedule would have them taking eight classes at the same time for a year, a schedule parents say is more difficult to juggle and offers less flexibility for those who want to accelerate their courses in a particular subject. For instance, by taking two math or two language classes each semester a student can cover two years worth of material in one subject.
Hunter Ackley, who transfered to Hereford High School last year from a New Jersey school with a nine-period school day last year, said the Hereford schedule is far preferable. "The amount of work I get done at Hereford is a drastic increase," he said.
Ackley said the school newspaper staff did a poll of students and found 87 percent against the change.
"I feel like with the schedule change, It would be a lot harder to keep track of homework and classwork," said student Amanda Johnson.Superintendent Dallas Dance decided to change the schedule to help struggling students who are transferring between schools and might loose a credit.
But the change has angered parents who say schools should be able to decide what schedule works best for their students. The highest achieving schools in the county are the ones that must change schedules, largely from a seven-period day.
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