All comprehensive high schools in Manteca Unified will be on the same block-schedule mode when the 2015-2016 school year rolls around in August.
That sweeping change became reality when the Board of Trustees, at their meeting Tuesday night, unanimously approved the request for block scheduling made by East Union, the last to get on the block-model school structure.
Two other high schools in the district are starting under this new schedule in August – Weston Ranch High, which was given the green light by the board in the fall of last year, followed by the request from Manteca High which also received unanimous approval.
East Union’s request was forwarded to the school board only after the plan was approved by a majority vote by the Lancer teachers. Of the 65 percent of those who voted, about 30 percent were in favor with 24 percent voting nays. Fourteen teachers chose not to vote – teachers had a choice not to vote, according to the presenters – and seven “did not have the opportunity to vote.”
Among the benefits of block scheduling mentioned:
• It allows remediation which will result in the increase of graduating students;
• It provides a wider berth that will allow participation in ROP (Regional Occupational Program) classes;
• It puts all students in the school district on the same scheduling footing.
Board president Deborah Romero wanted to know why the 24 percent of teachers voted against the block-scheduling proposal. In response the East Union representatives who gave the presentation said that the teachers “felt the rules have changed” and that they “needed a time plan” to get used to the idea.
Like Weston Ranch and Manteca High, the East Union committee charged with exploring the pros and cons of block scheduling at their school visited and studied other campuses in other districts, including McNair High and Cesar Chavez High in Stockton, that have been operating under this program for a while.