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Nordhoff holds parent meeting tonight, Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m. to discuss proposed schedule change; school board to meet on issue Wednesday

The Ojai Valley News will livestream the meeting.

3 7 NEW OUSD SCHEDULE

Saturday, March 7, at 10:27 a.m., Ojai Unified School District administration sent out this example of a six-period day schedule for freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior students.

 

The proposed Nordoff High School schedule change will be discussed at a parent meeting for Nordhoff High and eighth-graders on Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at Nordhoff High School cafeteria, 1401 Maricopa Highway, Ojai. The meeting will be provided in English and Spanish.

Spanish-speaking families will hear the presentation in classroom B3 at 6 p.m. Assistant Principal Jaime Rooney, counselor Bronwen Cull-Michels and Matilija Principal Javier Ramirez will lead the discussion in Spanish.

 

The schedule change will also be discussed at the Wednesday, March 11, school board meeting where it is listed as the last item on the agenda as an "action" item: "Staff recommends the Board approve the Nordhoff Master Calendar transition to a six-period day. Action."

When the OUSD March 11 agenda was sent out Friday, March 6, the Nordhoff High schedule change was not its own item on the agenda. The agenda was amended on Saturday, March 7, to include the schedule change, which was listed as an "information" item. On Sunday afternoon, March 8, the agenda for the meeting was revised so the schedule change is now listed on the agenda as an "action" item that "staff recommends."

To view the agenda, visit:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/609667/3-11-20_Agenda.pdf

This is the announcement that was sent to the families of Nordhoff High and eighth-graders the morning of Saturday, March 7:

Parent meeting Monday March 9, 6 p.m. in NHS cafeteria

Hello Nordhoff and 8th grade Matilija Families,

We would like to invite you to an informational meeting to answer questions about the transition to Nordhoff's new 6-period schedule. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sherrill Knox will be presenting on schedule options, and I and the Nordhoff counselors will be available to answer questions as they arise.
We hope you can join us on Monday, March 9th at 6 p.m. at the Nordhoff Cafeteria. In the interim, please view our Frequently Asked Questions sheet here http://bit.ly/OUSD6perioddayFAQ
If you are unable to attend the meeting, but do have questions, please email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a time to discuss any questions about your student's specific schedule.

 

This is the information that is in the above link regarding Frequently Asked Questions:

NORDHOFF HIGH SCHOOL 6 PERIOD SCHEDULE 
SATURDAY, MARCH 07, 2020
Nordhoff High School Transition to 
6 Period Schedule
Frequently Asked Questions
For the 2020-21 academic year Nordhoff High School has begun a transition to a 6-period day as a recommendation for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.
Q: What caused this transition? 
A: Like nearly all districts around the state, we are facing a budget deficit in the 2020-21 school year. Our deficit of $1.1 million is due to increased costs and flat school funding.  

Recommending that students take 6 classes instead of 7 is one action that will reduce district expenditures.  

Additionally, as over 50% of Nordhoff students participate in an after-school sport or activity that counts as a course, automatically enrolling students in all 6 courses during the day and a 7th course after school means that over 50% of NHS students will acquire over 280 credits. 

This is 40 credits more than a 6 period day and 55 more credits than is necessary for graduation requirements. 

We have had feedback from stakeholder groups, including students, that there is a concern that students are over-stressed in high school. 
Overscheduling kids contributes to this stress and is unnecessary since students do not need to enroll in more than 6 classes each year to meet their high school and college requirements. 
For most students, a 6 period day throughout the school year will reduce stress while still allowing them courses to meet all of their high school requirements and remain competitive for college. This can also allow some students the option of a delayed start or early release.
Finally, this change is also part of our transition to a delayed start as required by law in the 2021-22 school year, which will not allow for 7 periods. 

Q: Which grades does this affect? 

A: This transition will affect mostly 11th and 12th grade students for the 20-21 school year, however some 10th grade students will be affected as well.

 

Q: What will students be doing during their open period? 

A: Students will have the opportunity to work in our library or computer lab, get a head start on homework, have extra study time, or simply relax under a shady tree.  Open periods have been part of students’ schedules for years, and while this is more likely for juniors and seniors due to fewer required classes at their level, we have had some sophomores with open periods.

 

Q: Will students be allowed to leave campus during free period?

A: We will follow our current policy. Students who have free periods during the school day are expected to stay on campus, just as they currently are, and take advantage of the extra time to complete work.  If parents choose to sign students out for work or enrichment opportunities, they can do so by contacting the Attendance Office.

 

Q: Besides freeing up a stressful workload, how does this benefit students?

A: We plan to offer students summer school courses for remediation and acceleration at NHS. Students who complete a class for acceleration purposes at Nordhoff could open a spot in their schedule for another class.

 

Q: What summer classes will be available for our students?  Will we be expected to pay for them?

A: The summer classes we will have available are open to all OUSD students free-of-charge.  We are currently finalizing our schedule, however at this time we believe we will have the following:

Classes available on campus. 

Digital Video Basics
Drawing, Painting and Composition
— College and Career Foundations
Early Childhood Development (Leads to Early Childhood Educator certificate) - NEW
Stop Motion Animation - NEW
Women’s Studies - NEW

 

Classes available online:

— Health
— Geography
World History
Government
— Economics
— Custom selection based on student need/interest 

 

Q: What are some examples of how my student will be able to meet their goals, with the pathway they have chosen?

A: Below is an example of a 6-period day schedule for Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior or Senior students.  Whether the student follows a 2-year of 4-year college pathway, a competitive-for-University pathway, a Career Technical Education pathway, or a combination pathway there is room in a 6-period day for all.
Additionally, students may be granted the option of a 7-period day for the following reasons:
Pathway/Core Class Completion Need- if the student needs 7 courses because they are an athlete who also needs 6 other classes in order to complete their pathway (CTE, A-G, or Combo), and/or be competitive for college, or to complete core classes. Core classes include English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Spanish, 2 years of one CTE pathway, PE up to 20 credits, and Directed Studies.
Total Credit Completion Need- if the student needs 7 classes in order to earn 225 credits to graduate.

 

Q: Why didn’t you communicate this to parents in advance? 

A: We discussed this as a team and made the wrong choice. We should have communicated with parents in advance. 
Staff and administration met daily over the weeks leading up to registration to discuss the nuances of recommending a six period day for most students. In these discussions, it became clear that every student's situation is unique.  Because there are multiple factors to consider including grade level, credits needed to graduate, whether or not students are in a CTE pathway, NCAA, and others, we made the decision that we would work with students directly, so that counselors could work through individual graduation plans with students. As part of this preparation, we created an appeals process so that we can try and accommodate students who really want to take a seven period day and can't take advantage of summer school or other new online options.
In trying to limit confusion we inadvertently created confusion. We should have communicated in advance.
Ultimately, we are committed to ensuring students have access to a robust course of study that maps to their goals, and is flexible as goals change.  We are here to individually work with families to create the best schedule for students. Should you have outstanding questions, please email Nordhoff High School Principal Dave Monson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or OUSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sherrill Knox at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."

 

On Thursday, March 5, the Nordhoff Parent Association posted to Nordoff High School parents about the schedule change on its Facebook page:

 

Nordhoff Parent Association
March 5 at 12:55 PM ·
The Nordhoff Parent Association would like to understand your concerns surrounding the proposed transition to a five period academic day for students. NPA did not have any knowledge of these proposed changes prior to students meeting with their guidance counselors yesterday.
The changes in the 2020-2021 class schedule will affect all students, but especially those involved in sports, performing arts and those who are on a rigorous A-G path. We are fearful that limiting options for our students at the only traditional public high school in the valley will lead to departure for many families. If we are concerned with a lack of school funding and budget deficits, losing students will not be the answer.
Our Executive Board has many questions and concerns, and we are certain you will too. We are here to advocate for our students and families, and make sure that any changes to our curriculum are in their best interest. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and email Nordhoff administration and make your voices heard. You can send inquiries/concerns to Principal Dave Monson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Superintendent Tiffany Morse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), our elected OUSD Board Members (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and copy the Nordhoff Parent Association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Also, there will be a school board meeting on Wednesday, March 11th at 5:3 0p.m. We highly encourage you to attend and speak in the public comment time so your feedback can be heard directly by our administrators and our community.
Best, 
Nordhoff Parent Association Executive Board
Nordhoff High School

 

OUSD contact information

OUSD administration phone number: 805-640-4300, ext. 3
OUSD Superintendent Tiffany Morse:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
OUSD Assistant Superintendent Sherrill Knox:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
OUSD school board member emails:
Board President Shelly Griffen
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
(Term: December 2016 through December 2020)
Board Vice President Jane Weil
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Board Clerk Kevin Ruf
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Board member Michael Shanahan
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Board member Thayne Whipple
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
(Term: June 11 through December 2020)
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