The proposed middle school schedule will increase instructional time for students from 300 minutes to 336 minutes a day (an increase of 12%) while maintaining the same number of instructional time for teachers!. The schedule also incorporates almost all of the recommendations faculty made for changes to address student needs, teacher needs and District/State/Program requirements. I can't wait to see what the new schedule will make possible!
The good part about a long ride home (2 hours!), is the time it affords you to think. Fortunately, the intense, mind-melting work session gave me a lot of wonderful things to think about.
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about what this schedule can do for the middle school's students, staff and scores. With a solid foundation in place, we can begin to make great inroads into improving the quality of instruction, raising the level of collaboration and expectations for performance, and increasing the inclusion of students with special needs. Students will also be able to be meaningfully engaged in capstone projects that are designed and facilitated by their core teachers. And we did this with fewer staff, by staying within the existing union parameters, and in time to let people know next year's assignment before they leave for the summer. Amazing.