Parents Voice Concerns, School To Make Changes

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 9:29pm

Parents and students at one El Paso ISD high school have been disappointed about changes for the new school year.

At a meeting Monday night, many people voiced their concerns about several issues including the class schedule and how it's impacting their education.

"We're gonna get behind. It's not going to get fixed no time soon. I'm scared I'm not going to graduate," said Makeeda Gaines.

Parents, children and and teachers stood in front of a packed gymnasium all concerned about one thing -- the future of the students' education.

This year, Silva Magnet High School for Healthcare Professionals switched from a block schedule to traditional class schedule.

Now, there are 8 classes in one day. Each class is 45 minutes long.

With a block schedule there are four classes a day, every other day. Each class is 90 minutes long.

Senior Makeeda Gaines said 45 minutes is not enough.

"It doesn't give us enough time to learn, comprehend anything. I go through my first period and I learn something. I get to my last period and I don't remember it and we have piles and piles of homework and it's hard to do because we don't remember anything," said Gaines.

"This is not the only magnet school in the district so why is this the only magnet school with problems," said parent Tracie Gaines-McCary.

At the meeting, district and school officials decided students would go back to a block schedule.

"We're making the switch because there's different needs. There's concerns that we need to address and make sure that we're meeting them," said Principal Fedrico Rojas.

School officials tell parents the 15,000 schedule changes will be made within three weeks.

"I'm so glad that they went back and they realize they made a mistake. They owned up to it, showed some leadership and did the right thing for the students," said parent Marta Moran-Edwards.

Parents were also concerned about the 30 minutes students were given to eat their lunches. On Monday, the school changed the lunch period to 40 minutes.

Silva Magnet High School is at Jefferson High School. The principal said, for now, Jefferson is staying with the traditional class schedule.

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