An incoming Pittsfield High School junior wants to take both chemistry and Spanish 3 but can’t because the sole section of each class is offered at the same time during the school day.
It’s a common problem facing students, and their parents, in many districts — and it’s one that Brian Curless and Walker Filbert want to keep in front of the Pikeland School Board.
Curless’ son, Frazier, faces the scheduling issue. He and his family opted for the foreign language class, hopefully clearing the way for him to take Spanish 4 and still pick up chemistry as a senior.
Curless said he understands the scheduling challenges facing the district but wants the board to keep curriculum offerings as a priority especially when it comes to weighted classes favored by college-bound students.
“I don’t want to make it about us or about Frazier. I want to make it about the students,” Curless said at Wednesday night’s board meeting.
“There are a lot of students out there who want to take every single one of the weighted classes,” Filbert said.
Superintendent Paula Hawley said the scheduling concerns aren’t limited to just the weighted classes.
“The bottom line is you can’t build a perfect schedule that’s going to fit everyone’s needs,” Hawley said. “Students have to make choices along the way, and some are hard to make.”
Board members traditionally have been willing to add another section of classes, when needed in all areas of the curriculum.
“I have sections of art that close because they’re full, and we don’t have enough kids to add another section,” she said. With chemistry, “we only had three kids who were not able to fit it in their schedule. You can’t open a section for three kids.”
Curless said students had more options in past years.
“In the past, you had more chemistry classes offered, more than one,” Curless said.
PHS Principal Angie Greger said two sections of chemistry were offered only once the past four years to accommodate a large class.