Baltimore County Council expresses concerns over school scheduling changes

The Baltimore County Council is the latest group to get involved with the county school system’s plan to standardize class scheduling across the jurisdiction.

In a letter signed by all seven council members, they are asking Superintendent S. Dallas Dance to clarify his decision to eliminate the block schedule option for next school year.

According to the letter, the Council said so many constituents have reached out to them regarding this issue that they felt the need to enter the debate.

“There may be advantages to the scheduling system as you have revised it for next year, but this Council has yet to receive a cogent explanation of how these advantages outweigh those that flow from the traditional block schedule option successfully utilized for so long in our County schools, including the County highest-performing high schools,” the letter read.

“Specifically, the Council is requesting that you explain the rationale for this decision. Further, we ask that you reconsider the decision and allow the semester block schedule to remain an option for our high school administrators.”

Parents at Hereford High School have led the fight against the change. For the last 22 years, students at Hereford have taken four classes a semester for a total of eight classes. Under the new plan students would take eight classes a semester under one of three plans:

• Eight-period day, eight courses, same eight courses every day.
• Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be on an A day/B day schedule and four classes a day and then Wednesday they can do all eight classes.
• A day/B day straight across 

The fight over the scheduling change led a group of parents to form Hereford Works LLC . The group has started a petition, packed school board meetings, and even held fundraisers to help offset legal costs associated with the battle.

“We are committed to staying in this fight until we get our schedule back.  We have an attorney working with us, and we are prepared to take any action necessary to stay in the fight and get our schedule back,” said Wendy Flowers with Hereford Works, during a recent fundraiser at Casa Mia’s in Parkton.

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