Danville Schools Considering New Schedule Concerns Parents

Danville, VA-- It seems like students just went back to school, but school officials in Danville are already planning for next school year.

Danville Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Newsome held a meeting Thursday night to get input from parents about what they think needs to be improved in the school system.

One topic that had some parents concerned was the possibility of a schedule change and how that may negatively effect some students.

It's the mission of Danville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Edward Newsome to make sure the Danville school system is always improving. He's hosting what he calls Listening and Learning sessions for parents to answer three questions.

"What do you like about Danville Public Schools, what do you think needs to be improved, and what are some ideas that you have about improvements?" said Newsome.

Several parents had lots to say, but one hot topic for a couple of parents is the possibility of a new schedule next school year.

"Every year, all schools look at the schedule to decide is the schedule meeting the needs of students because that's what the schedule is about," said Newsome.

School officials are considering changing from an alternating block schedule to a full semester block schedule. Some parents say this would be detrimental for students who are in performing arts classes which have shows and competitions that carry on all year.

"She would have to take two slots for orchestra in order to continue orchestra for the entire year," said Paula Shelton, a parent who has a student at George Washington High School.

This in turn limits the amount different classes students can take.

"He would basically have to decide next year to do either orchestra, ROTC or French III, and he needs all three," said Amy Davis, a parent who also has a student at George Washington High School.

"We will listen to our parents," Newsome said. "Driving it all would be what's in the best interest of our students and we want to accommodate everybody, rarely do schedule accommodate every single person."

Superintendent Newsome said he does not want to harm performing arts programs in schools. School officials plan to meet with parents to discuss the matter further before any final decisions are made.

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