[UPDATE: On May 17 the superintendent recommended and the board approved retaining the threatened science positions at both the senior high and the mid-high.]
I have written to the Board of Education, urging them to not accept the district’s budget proposal to cut another science teacher at BHS. The resulting overload would leave us with 7 science classes of more than 28 students next year. My AP Physics B classes would be 30 and 31 students in that case, which the College Board’s statistics say is larger than about 95% of such classes nationwide.
Having more than 28 students in a science class also violates the multimillion dollar science wing’s design criteria, which provides up to seven lab stations serving four students each. I’m not sure what I could do with three or more extra students who have no seats, no lab station, and no equipment…and I know from experience that cramming five students into a station simply doesn’t work.
In fact, having 31 students in my lab would violate the building code (BOCAI 1996) standard of at least 50 square feet per person in a science lab.
Hopefully reason will prevail and the Board will be willing to invest less than 1% of the projected $5,700,000 fund balance in improved student safety and preserving the quality of our laboratory science programs.
If you feel strongly about this issue, consider politely sharing your viewpoint with the Board of Education. Public comment is allowed at the Board meeting on Monday, May 17 at 5:30 pm at the Education Service Center – that’s when they’ll take action on next year’s budget plan.
UPDATE: On May 17 the board voted unanimously to retain a science position at the senior high and a science position at the Mid-High in order to ensure class sizes remain at 28 or less and that total daily student loads remain at 140 or less for each science teacher.