"Unfortunately, we'll have to downsize our staff, but we'll increase the number of sections we'll have in our buildings," Dan McMinimee, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said. "We know that this is a burden to our teachers right now. That's why we talked about what is a manageable schedule."
McMinimee says that move could save the Douglas County School District around $5.5 million.
"We're the lowest funded school district in the Denver Metro Area," McMinimee said. "Making this schedule change at the high school allows us to keep what we have at our elementary and middle schools."
McMinimee says the change would allow schools to lower class sizes by having teachers teach six classes instead of five each day. He adds that it would also help schools keep elective programs instead of cutting them.
"We can't just continue to cram kids into classrooms when we don't have the staff to meet those needs," Dr. Jim Calhoun, principal at Castle View High School, said. "You just can't have 50 kids in a chemistry class."
At Castle View High School, teachers have already been teaching six classes. The change would mean a different impact. It would force Castle View to lower its graduation requirement from 26.5 credit hours to 24 credit hours which is in line with the rest of the district.
Calhoun says he needs students to take fewer classes to save money. Right now, nearly three out of every four students at his school takes a full class schedule.
"We've asked students not to take eight classes in a year," Calhoun said. "What we need to do is get that number from 70 percent of our students taking a full load down to 40 percent."
That idea is upsetting to students like Jacob Walden. He is a graduating senior at a Castle View. He doesn't want students after him to get a compromised education because the graduation requirements are being lowered.
"When we cut these credits, what we're showing people is that we don't actually value students' education and the next generation of students that are coming to the United States," Walden said.
Walden plans to address the school board Tuesday night to ask them not to allow Castle View to lower its graduation requirements to encourage students to take fewer classes. Walden suggests finding a way to lower energy costs to save money.
"We heat our schools all the time. We don't cut energy costs and we should be doing that first before we cut education and funding for students," Walden said. "Every student should have equal opportunity to take a full course load in the Douglas County School District and in any district in the United States."
A district spokesman says it has saved more than $11 million through a sustainability program. The district says students at nearly 60 schools go classroom to classroom turning off lights and conserving energy.
Calhoun promises if this change is approved, the education of students will not diminish.
"We still have some of the highest graduation requirements in the region," Calhoun said.
McMinimee says the change in schedule should actually create opportunities for students like Walden to take more advanced classes. A similar change took places in other Douglas County high schools a few years ago.
"You can go to any one of our schools in this district and there are students that are taking AP classes now because they believe they can handle a load more efficiently when they don't have classes every day, all day," McMinimee said.
With respect to the additional class for teachers, Sally Collins says many of her colleagues across the district will likely be upset with the change. She is a math teacher at Castle View. Collins admits this option is better than idea of lowering salaries considering teachers have not had a raise in at least six years.
"The only other option is cut the number of teachers. The only other way to do it is to ask teachers to teach more and then lower the numbers," Collins said.
9NEWS tried to get feedback from the American Federation of Teachers chapter in Douglas County. We did not get a return call after we asked the teachers union president for a comment.
These proposals are part of the overall budget plan for next year. The school board will vote on the plan later in the spring.
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