COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On Thursday night, Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs announced it was canceling Friday's high school classes after nearly 30 percent of teachers "called out sick" in protest. ASD20 says their elementary and middle schools will go forward as normally scheduled.
The move comes after a proposal to change the teaching schedule for high schools.
ASD20 operates on an eight-period block schedule which happens over two days, with each period lasting 90 minutes. The new schedule would change a full-time teacher's workload load from teaching 5.5 of the eight periods to teaching six of the eight periods.
The district says the new scheduling policy will increase schools' flexibility and let them better serve their students. It will not change the length of the school day. However, some say the change unfairly increases the workload of teachers.
The district says it is the only school district in Colorado to have an eight-period schedule, and teachers are considered full-time despite not teaching six of the eight periods.
The Academy Education Association, a group dedicated to supporting ASD20 teachers and staff, according to its Facebook page, opposes the change.
Tomorrow, Academy educators will be protesting the district’s continued disrespect for it’s educators. Our educators continually answer the call for our students and the district continues to show that they don’t value us.
“Our educators are being asked to do more with less and we demand that they be compensated accordingly. We demand that our students AND educators be given the resources they need to have a high quality public education. We demand that our superintendent visit our schools; talk to our educators, get our input on policies and decisions that affect the district. We are experts in our field. Entrust us and utilize us; we know our students and we know what is best for our classrooms. We demand time. We need time to plan. We need time to ensure that each and every student has the time and the resources they need to succeed.
“Finally, this should be a wake up call for our elected officials as collective bargaining is a way to show respect for our educators. Educators deserve a seat at the table because, ultimately, our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions