Two high schools in the Capistrano Unified School District may not have enough minutes on their schedules and may have to change their calendar to include more teaching time, school officials said.
According to a source close to the district who requested anonymity, CUSD officials are scrutinizing the schedules at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo and San Juan Hills High in San Juan Capistrano to see if there enough instructional minutes in the year.
Julie Hatchel, assistant superintendent for education services, confirmed with Patch that staff is currently looking into the matter.
“We are currently analyzing the potential impact of furlough days on the instructional minutes [pending passage/failure of propositions in November]. We are not restructuring schedules at this time,” she said.
The district currently has five teaching furlough days – when both teachers and students stay home – on the calendar. But if Prop. 30 fails on Nov. 6, a contract with employees calls for the elimination of 10 more instructional days.
“If it is determined that we will need to adjust schedules, we will bring this information to the Board of Trustees,” Hatchel said.
The San Juan Hills schedule has students leaving school at 1:30 p.m. every other Monday in what is known as “early-out Monday.” Regular quitting time is 2:42 p.m. on the other Mondays, and 2:45 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
Capo Valley High School has “late-start” Mondays, when the first period of the day doesn’t begin until 8:38 a.m. On the other days, school starts at 7:57 a.m.
According to a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education, the number of minutes a school district must teach in its high schools depends on how many days it taught in the 2009-10 year.
“Overall, there has been a reduction in the amount of instructional time required to be offered by five days through 2014-15,” said the department’s Tina Yoo Jung.
She could not say the exact number of days CUSD offered in 09-10.
If the district is forced to lengthen its shorter days to accommodate minimum teaching times, it won’t be the first time. In September 2006, Capo Valley High had to make some last-minute adjustments to its schedule.
In a memo that went out to parents, both start and finish times were adjusted after officials considered “some recent interpretations by the Dept. of Education.” No other explanation was provided.