Proposed New Secondary Schedule

Questions and Answers

 

Question:   Why a proposed change in our secondary schedule?

Answer:     In recent years, SJSD has worked diligently to foster a culture in each school of teacher/staff collaboration focused on more positively impacting student learning.  Recently, schools that have made significant progress in these areas have desired a schedule that would be more accommodating to further progress by providing more teacher/staff collaboration time and more extension and intervention time for student learning.  Our present 8 period day was not designed with these priorities in the forethought.  Permission was granted for an exploratory committee to analyze other possible secondary schedules and provide a recommendation.  Administrators kept teachers involved by meeting with staff and representing input from his/her staff.  With that now complete, this is the schedule that is being recommended for consideration.  

Question:  What exactly is being proposed as the possible new secondary schedule?

Answer:    While nothing has been set in stone and some details still need further input to finalize, the schedule in general has been developed.  It will include a 35-minute teacher collaboration time every morning from 7:45 to 8:20am and a period of time (Monday through Thursday) dedicated to supporting personal student learning in the area of extensions and interventions.  Teachers believe this will provide for them time needed to go deeper in their collaborative focus of student learning and provide a more meaningful personalized learning experience for all students.   The daily schedule will be completed with four 80-minute class periods.  Students will still take 8 periods but rather than attending all 8 each day, students will take 4 on one day (A-Day) and 4 on the next day (B-Day). 

 

Jr High - Longer Lunch

HS - Longer Lunch

7:45-8:20 am = Teacher collaboration M-F

7:45-8:20 am = Teacher collaboration M-F

1st/5th

8:25-9:45 am

8:25-9:45 am

2nd/6th

9:50-11:10 am

9:50-11:10 am

Lunch OR 3rd/7th

11:10-11:45 am Lunch

11:15 am-12:35 pm

3rd/7th OR Lunch

11:50-1:10 pm

12:35-1:10 pm Lunch

FLEX

1:14-1:50 FLEX

1:14-1:50 FLEX

4th/8th

1:55-3:15 pm

1:55-3:15 pm

 

Question:         What are the known pros and cons to the proposed change?

Answer:            Pros would include:   

  • Increased Teacher Collaboration/PLC time.
  • Longer Lunch period for both students and staff
  • Scheduled as Flex- dedicated to personalized instructional support for students
  • School starts slightly later
  • Some classes are more successful in a longer period of time
  • A belief among a majority of teachers that this schedule will lead to higher levels of student learning
  • No major changes for parents
  • One student absence means more in class instruction is missed.
  • Some classes are more successful when students are seen every day
  • 80 minutes is a long time for some students to stay focused.

Cons would include:

Question:         How do teachers feel about this proposed change?

Answer:            As mentioned earlier, this idea has originated at the school level with teacher input.  After a few months of a committee exploring all ideas and ending on this idea, all secondary teachers in the district were surveyed.  It was clear that there was a strong majority of support for this proposed change.  

Question:         How will the district support students and teachers in being prepared for such a change.

Answer:            The key to longer times of instruction being engaging and highly effective lie with the teacher.  It is critical that lesson plans are well prepared and engaging.  If change happens, teacher teams will be provided sufficient time to work in PLC ‘s to redesign curriculum and lesson plans to be successful in an 80-minute time block.  As needed outside consultant work can be provided to support this effort.

Question:         What exactly do teachers do in a collaboration meeting?

Answer:            SJSD refers to the teacher collaboration meetings as Professional Learning Community teams.  (PLC’s) In a PLC teachers dive deeply into learning standards and curriculum, (what they will teach); they build formative assessments to assess student achievement (what the student learned); and they decide how best to support deeper learning for students who mastered the standards/curriculum and how best to reteach or intervene when a student has not reached mastery of the standards/curriculum. 

 

Question:         Could these PLC meetings be held after school to allow school to start at 8AM? 

Answer:              Due to large number of teachers who oversee student activities or coach sports, it has proven very difficult to have a meeting in the afternoon and not have a high percentage of staff needing to be two places.  Morning meetings have found to be far more successful with staff attendance. 

 

Question:         Does this proposed change affect Elementary Schools and Elementary students?

Answer:            All proposed changes are focused on Secondary Schools; however, in some ways schools are often connected.  Some times they share buses which means their drop-off and pick-up times must be coordinated.  Knowing this, it may make logical sense to have a consistent start time for Elementary Schools that is best aligned to support an orderly start to the morning for our schools.  It is important to stress that any change to the starting time for Elementary School will be sensitive to working parents who need to drop their child(ren) off before starting work at 8AM.  No matter the actual starting time of the school, the expected drop off time of students will remain 7:50 to 8Am in the morning.  Bus schedules will be designed to align with these expectations. 

 

Question:         How will this proposed change affect parents?

Answer:            Again, while further input and work is needed to develop all details of the proposed change.  Sensitivity to parents’ concerns is a top priority.  With the current proposed schedule, parents would not be required to make any significant change in their daily routine to support their child’s schooling.  The proposed change would not require a change in drop off time for any schools.  Schools will be open at currently established times.  The ending time of the day for secondary schools would only change 4 minutes, from 3:11 to 3:15.  It may be possible for students and parents to delay their arrival/drop off if they so choose.  It also may be possible for buses routes to be moved back a few minutes allowing for a little more time in the morning at home. 

 

Question:         Who developed this document and how does a parent provide further input?

Answer:            This Document has been developed by SJSD administration and is intended to help inform stakeholders and answer questions.  If one still has questions or desires to add further input, a community meeting to further address the topic has been scheduled for May 4th at the SJH Auditorium beginning at 7PM.  Input can also be emailed to your child’s school administrator.