District 205 Education Committee to discuss gifted class cuts tonight at 5 p.m.
By Jim Hagerty
The Rockford Board of Education’s Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. today (Dec. 13) to hear which high school honors courses the administration plans to eliminate for the 2011-2012 academic year.
The committee meeting comes on the heels of last Tuesday’s emergency school board meeting, where 30 speakers opposed the elimination of honors classes.
At last Tuesday’s meeting, Education Committee Chairman Bob Evans said plans to cut gifted classes were not discussed with him or placed on the committee’s agenda, prompting tonight’s meeting.
School Board President David Kelley said District 205 headquarters received a rash of phone calls from parents who questioned gifted and Advance Placement (AP) courses.
Superintendent Dr. LaVonne Sheffield said plans to modify the district’s gifted curriculum was not discussed with the board because changes in high school planning guides did not involve the school board in the past.
In her State of the Schools speech last Thursday, Dec. 9, Sheffield said reports that her staff was cutting gifted classes were sparked by tentative information leaked to the public by teachers.
The superintendent said some gifted classes will be cut while others will be consolidated with general education courses. The move will help the district curb racial and educational segregation and manage classes more efficiently.
Advanced Placement courses are not being eliminated, Sheffield said.
Monday’s meeting of the Education Committee is open to the public, however, no time will be allotted for public comment.
The regularly scheduled weekly meeting of the Rockford Board of Education will be Tuesday, Dec. 14. Both meetings will be at the District 205 Administration Building, 201 S. Madison St., downtown.
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