Dismissals Dismissed?

Jazmine Toledo, Business Manager

There will no longer be course periods without “educational content because there are not sufficient curricular course offerings for the pupil to take during the relevant period of the designated school day,” according to The California Department of Education Legislative Assembly Bill 1012.

In other words, there will no longer be teacher assistants (T.A.). This new regulation will commence 2016-2017 school year.  

Although being a T.A. counts for general elective credits, Dr. Tom McCoy, assistant superintendent of educational services for Oxnard Union High School District, said, “[Students] were not being able to graduate from high school because they were being scheduled in off roll and office practice when they needed English or math in order to graduate.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District, Compton Unified School District, and Oakland Unified School Districts were being sued because students were not enrolled into classes making them eligible to go to college. In order to avoid future issues, the district decided to permanently eliminate the problem by not allowing students to be enrolled into classes as a T.A.

“We are working with Ventura County Office of Education to develop activities” said Dr. McCoy, “[As they attempt to] upgrade the classes, so that they meet the letter of the law.”

“What we want in every class and every student is a positive environment where the teachers are building a relationship with students regardless what the class topic is. So, our wish is that teachers will develop great relationships between teacher and student, student and teacher, and students and the content of the class,” said Dr. McCoy.

However, several teachers disagree with the new code. Oxnard High School Mr. Andrew Aguailar believes that a student-to-teacher relationship can also be established through students working as T.A.s. “Taking away teacher assistants is basically taking away from both students and teachers who generally have really good relationships with each other,” said Mr. Aguailar.

 

To some, it has been a misconception that dismissals will be terminated in the years following the 2015-2016 school year. However, “Under our current OUHSD Board policy, seniors are allowed to have one dismissal in the fall and two [dismissals] in the spring,” said Dr. McCoy, “only if they are on track to graduate.”

 

Although taking away T.A.s from some counselors may reduce the efficiency, it will benefit some students in the long-run to take electives or catch up on credits instead.

Although not being able to have dismissals may benefit those students who need to catch up on credits.

 

“Student assistant classes are valuable for teachers and for kids so we still want to be able to customize for what kids need.”

Overall, there are both negatives and positive reactions from students and staff. However, according to the Los Angles Times, “It shouldn’t be considered a hardship to provide a full school day’s worth of education to all students.”