By Elisabeth Harrison
Providence, R.I. – Hope High School students appear to have won a victory over Providence school officials in a fight over their daily class schedule. The students wanted to keep a schedule with longer class periods and more time for teacher meetings.
The ruling issued Monday by Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist cites state regulations that say school districts cannot reduce the amount of time they already give teachers to meet. That is exactly the grounds on which students from Hope High School challenged the change in their schedule. Attorney Miriam Weizenbaum calls it an important victory for those students.
"I'm very pleased to see that the commissioner is enforcing the law," Weizenbaum said. "It's also very important for the students to see that no one is above the law and that when you organize your efforts you really can succeed."
Hundreds of Hope students have protested the change in a schedule they say has helped improve their school. District officials can appeal the ruling. They have not yet said whether they plan to do so, or how it will affect the daily lives of students and teachers at Hope High, which is already in session and using the new schedule.