Big changes are on their way for high school students in Bend and La Pine. As part of an effort to stretch teacher's schedules; while keeping class size at around 35 students per class, the school district will shift away from block classes to 7 periods a day. Tough times often mean tough decisions: "It's a significant change."
Bend La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says the District is facing a $16 million budget shortfall, and this idea would squeeze a little bit more classroom time out of teachers, so class size would stay at around 35 students. It would still mean some teacher layoffs at the local high schools: "We are agonizing. Probably about 20-22 teachers." Wilkinson says it doesn't appear that state lawmakers will tackle PERs changes that would alleviate some of the District's obligations to PERs, so they have to make some deep cuts. Madras schools recently moved to 7 periods a day, and Redmond is set to start that schedule next school year.