HAYWARD — School officials are expecting a large turnout at Wednesday night's board meeting, with a presentation on the Faith-Ringgold School of Art and Science and continuing dialogue about alternatives to the current high school schedule system.
Hayward Unified School District spokeswoman Val Joyner said the district is expecting crowds at board meetings "until it's all over," meaning when the district approves a budget that requires significant cuts.
That's expected to happen Feb. 11, Joyner said.
Faith-Ringgold parents and staff have been attending meetings and vouching for the importance of the alternative K-8 campus.
Closing the campus is one of the district's many ways to save money, as is a switch from the current "block" system of classes, in which students go to four longer classes each semester rather than shorter classes that last all year.
A switch would save about $1 million each year. The board approved an action to eliminate the schedule as part of a budget plan last summer.
At the Dec. 10 board meeting, 15 people spoke on the subject — the majority in support of keeping the current schedule, which they say is conducive to successful art and music programs, and also offers more opportunities for advanced students.
However, some parents contend that the block schedule isn't as effective for teaching subjects such as foreign languages and math because of a lack of continuity — students may take a subject in the first semester and not continue until the following school year, leaving a long gap during which material may be forgotten.
At Wednesday's meeting, district staff will present two scheduling options and go over data on Advanced Placement and English-language learners, as well as show how the change would save money.
The Hayward Education Association and California Teachers Association are holding a rally starting at 3:45 p.m. today at Birchfield Park at Santa Clara Street and Winton Avenue to protest the elimination of the block schedule and potential cuts to elementary school music programs.
Mike Myslinski of the CTA said they also want to let the district know that they feel strongly about keeping class-size reduction programs in the early grades — something else that could be eliminated.
"That's really touching a nerve," Myslinski said. "Parents really fight for smaller classes."