How Honors Latin turned into Yoga

Late changes force changes at Miramonte


Sam Scott

Miramonte senior Apameh Berloui casts a disappointed look at her schedule after seeing that her classes were mixed up. Similar to others, Berloui faces scheduling issues.

After last-minute staffing changes caused shifts in teacher and classroom availability at Miramonte High School, students voiced their discontent over an increase in scheduling changes.

“I wanted to be in Latin 3 Honors and I was instead put in Yoga. I was surprised and somewhat annoyed because I missed the first week of Latin and missed a ton of work. I put my schedule change request in the bin in the admin office, but it took a long time for my schedule to get back to what I originally wanted,” Miramonte senior Ally Smith said.

Associate Principal Bruce Giron explained that students may experience an increase in scheduling “mix-ups” this year compared to previous years because of the uptick in last-minute staffing changes that put pressure on the administration. 

According to Giron, five teachers across different subjects left the school, and most of these staffing changes occurred around three weeks before the start of the school year.

Senior Kate Sinha experienced difficulties changing her English class from Film and Literature to English 4 WISE. “I went into the counseling office and asked them if I could switch my classes around. They were very kind and said ‘come back tomorrow and you may speak with a counselor,’ even though the counselors weren’t even accepting appointments at the time. Overall, it was very difficult to switch my classes,” Sinha said. 

The process of class scheduling starts months before students return to campus. The administration must balance the “requirements and wants” of students. After graduation requirements are taken into account, the wants of individual students, in the form of class requests, are the second step. From there, each school in the district submits requests for classes, by the number of periods of the class, to the district. Each school is then given what can be provided from their request based on the regulations in teachers’ contracts that limit the numbers of students they can teach at once, and the availability of physical classroom space.

Giron says that these factors make up the “puzzle” of scheduling, where administrators juggle graduation requirements, classroom space, students’ desires, and teachers’ contracts. Every part of the puzzle was impacted by the staffing changes. The increase in schedule changes experienced by students may have been a part of those “cascade of changes” and their impact on the logistics of scheduling.

Following the departure last summer of former principal Julie Parks to serve as the new superintendent of the Orinda Unified School District and the transition of associate principal Sara Harris to her new position as principal of Las Lomas High School, Miramonte also experienced a series of staff departures that left the administration dealing with additional challenges.

Giron said that students should understand that when staffing changes occur, the situation is “dynamic” and multifaceted. “Our underlying motivation is to balance our obligation to do what is right for students and what students want,” Giron said.

He explained that in a situation where teaching or classroom space is limited, graduation requirements and required courses are the primary consultants used by the administration when deciding what classes to offer or assign students to.

The administration urges compassion and patience as short-term staffing changes lead to challenges.