Parents and teachers outraged after Iberia Parish School Board switches high schools to 7-class day, despite major push back

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NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY)- The Iberia Parish School Board voted to switch high schools from a four-class day to a seven-class day.

Administrators say this new seven-period schedule will help the students, but teachers and parents are not too sure.

“My main concern is the loss of jobs for educators,” an anonymous teacher said.

“We’re doing without. We’re going to do without one out of eight school teachers,” Wanda Milliman, Iberia Association of Educators President, said.

Teachers tell News 10 they were told there would be cuts.

They added that it’s not their only concern about the new seven-period schedule.

“We’re getting double the work, double the prep, double the planning, double the grading, all at one time,” Ron Hebert, a teacher, said.

“It is putting more workload on our kids, and no one thought about that. The only thing their board was worried about was their pockets,” a parent, who chose to remain anonymous, said.

“It’s got to be money. All that we can see is money,” an anonymous teacher added.

Superintendent Carey Laviolette says the reason for the switch to a seven-period day was to help students improve standardized test scores, like the ACT.

“Students outperform students on a four by four block when they are on a seven-period day, so we know that’s better for students,” Laviolette said.

Laviolette says there will be school transition teams to help students adjust to the new schedule.

“People don’t like change, and we’re creatures of habit. I can understand that people feel secure in the schedule they have had for over 20 years,” Laviolette added.

While Laviolette says students will be able to cover more material, some are not sure the seven-period schedule is what is best for students.

“Whether it’s trouble at home, depression or ADD, this seven-block schedule will not be effective for them because they have a difficult time with transition as it is,” Julie Comeaux, a children’s advocate, said.

Over 60 teachers, parents and students gathered at the school board meeting Wednesday night, urging the board not to make the change. Ultimately, the seven-period schedule was accepted.

“It makes me fear that the board is not listening to us. It makes me fear that the administration has way too much control,” an anonymous parent said.

Districts two, three, nine, 10, and 11 told News 10 they are recalling their school board members because they feel they are not listening to their concerns.

The seven-class schedule is set to take effect next school year.

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