Frequently Asked Questions on Middle School Flexible Scheduling Proposal
January 2012 (revised February 2, 2012)
1. What is the research around middle school block scheduling, and why it may improve
student learning and retention, which may translate to an increase in test scores for
Arlington County? Why are we doing this? What are we trying to impact?
A listing of some of the key research around flexible block scheduling can be found on the
APS Middle School 2012 web page:
As can be seen through a review of the other material on the web page, APS developed this
proposal to meet the needs of our students as identified through the Middle School Design
Team process, the recommendations of the Advisory Council on Instruction (ACI), various
content and program Advisory Committees, the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on
Elimination of the Achievement Gap, and others to:
– additional instructional time in core subjects
– increased elective exploratory choices for Grade 6 students
– Grades 6-8 world languages opportunities
• Allow comprehensive and consistent integration of career and college-ready
enhancements to curriculum and schools
• Address specific needs of individual students and groups of students
2. How will the success of the new schedule be measured and evaluated?
As with all APS programs and curriculum, the success of the new schedule will be monitored
and measured through the regular School Board monitoring process and the progress in
student performance, participation, and achievement as reported in the APS Strategic Plan.
3. Will the blocks be 90 minutes long? Do middle-schoolers have enough attention span to
sit for 90 minutes?
The longer periods in the proposed Grade 6 schedule are 76 minutes in length while the
longer periods in Grades 7 and 8 are 93 minutes long. In both cases, instructional staff will
receive training over the course of the next year with ongoing professional development
offered afterwards related to the most effective use of the longer time period. Instructionally
this longer time will lend itself to more complex and higher level instructional approaches
that can be completed within one class period. Science labs, simulations, Socratic seminars
are a few examples of activities students engage in currently but have to stop and then start
again the next day because of the constraints of time. Planning and implementation to use
the longer periods effectively will be the key to keeping students engaged.
4. Which subjects will be taught in block?
English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages will be the core areas
taught during the extended periods in Grades 7 and 8. Additionally, students who need
intervention because they are below grade level in English and/or Mathematics can receive
services in place of World Language.
5. Will all middle schools be required to use the same schedule or can each school modify
the schedule to fit their unique programs such as International Baccalaureate or
The proposed schedule is for all middle schools. As is currently the practice, schools will
need to tailor the schedule to the countywide programs they implement. International
Baccalaureate, for instance, requires that multiple languages be offered to all students
beginning at Grade 6. As a result, Jefferson Middle School would be able to allocate their
additional staff to ensure that they meet this requirement for their school specific program.
6. Do all Arlington high schools use some sort of block schedule system?
The three comprehensive high schools, Wakefield, Washington-Lee, and Yorktown use a
variation of a flexible block schedule.
7. How many classes periods would there be per day?
Our comprehensive middle schools run on a seven day period currently, depending on the
day of the week the number of class periods would vary under the proposed schedule
although the overall length of the school day will remain the same. As is the case presently,
students who would like to take advantage of the ACT II program, during which they can
take an additional elective course stay for an additional or 8th period, will continue to be able
to do so.
8. Will the block schedule create larger class sizes?
Class size is based upon student enrollment.
9. Will teachers have more time to give more individual attention?
Students will spend less time switching classes and more time in classes with teachers
working more deeply on the content. This extended time, it is thought, will allow for more
time with individual students to address questions or provide individualized attention.
One of the things that is often forgotten is that the transition time that is eliminated is not just
in the hallway but in the time it takes for teachers to perform administrative and
planning/preparation tasks at the beginning and end of each class period. Attendance
(mandated by period for each student), set up of materials, reviewing of homework/returned
work, etc. will only need to be done once in the time frame instead of twice. So it is a
reorganization of the time that makes it more efficient use of time, allowing for more time for
the teacher to teach.
10. How much time do elementary students currently have in Physical Education and
While there is some variation in implementation among elementary schools the overarching
legal requirement and various content specific requirement or recommendations are as
Standards of Accreditation (SOAs)
8 VAC 20-131-80. Instructional program in elementary schools.
A. The elementary school shall provide each student a program of instruction that
corresponds to the Standards of Learning for English, mathematics, science, and
history/social science. In addition, each school shall provide instruction in art,
music, and physical education and health and shall require students to participate
in a program of physical fitness during the regular school year in accordance with
guidelines established by the Board of Education.
B. In kindergarten through grade 3, reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics shall
be the focus of the instructional program. Schools shall maintain, in a manner
prescribed by the Board of Education, an early skills and knowledge achievement
record in reading and mathematics for each student in grades kindergarten
through grade 3 to monitor student progress and to promote successful
achievement on the third grade SOL tests. This record shall be included with the
student's records if the student transfers to a new school.
C. To provide students with sufficient opportunity to learn, a minimum of 75% of the
annual instructional time of 990 hours shall be given to instruction in the
disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and history/social science. Students
who are not successfully progressing in early reading proficiency or who are
unable to read with comprehension the materials used for instruction shall receive
additional instructional time in reading, which may include summer school.
D. Elementary schools are encouraged to provide instruction in foreign languages.
Recommended Elementary Instructional Time for 2011-12
Area Time Grade Source
120 mins/day K-2
90 mins/day 3-5 International Reading Association
60 mins/day K-5
30 mins/day K-2
Science PIP 20-1
45 mins/day K-5
Social Studies Curriculum
Avg. 120-135 mins/week 1-5
School Board (Current FLES Schools
FLES (Spanish) Avg. 90 mins/week K
School Board (Current FLES Schools
Avg. 90 mins/week K-5 School Board (New FLES Schools)
45-50 mins/week K
60 mins/week 1-5
60 mins/week K-3
Music 45-60 mins/week 4-5
Additional Weekly Block 4-5 PIP 20-1
30 mins/week K-5
Health PIP 20-1
20 mins/day, 2 times/week K-2
Physical 30 mins/day, 3 times/week K-2
30 mins/day, each day by K-5
11. Will the time saved from class transitions really be enough to add an elective for sixth
The added elective option for students is not based on time saved from eliminating transition
times between classes alone. Currently we offer Health/PE every day for Grade 6 students.
The Virginia State requirement is an average of minutes across the time they are in middle
school. By going to an alternating day schedule for Health/PE while maintaining the current
Health/PE daily schedule in Grades 7 and 8 we more than meet the Virginia State
requirement, still provide an increase in instructional time in Health/PE over what students
receive in elementary school in Grade 5, and provide an additional period in which students
can take another elective.
12. How will this affect the music program? Will a student have to choose music over a
The proposed schedule will not impact offerings for electives, including music, in Grades 7
or 8. It does change the offerings in Grade 6 in that students will have four periods across
two days for electives. Students currently enrolled in instrumental music for a year-long
course would take that course every other day, allowing them to try a different offering on
the alternate day. (See Questions #13 and #36)
13. Can a student take a music course in Grade 6 as a “double block” in the same period?
The structure of the current schedule would allow students to elect to take one semester
course and a full year course or three semester courses in addition to Physical Education in
Grade 6. In the proposed schedule, students may take two semesters of the same course, but
would be grouped with students who might be taking the course for the first time. Depending
upon how schools create their master schedule, students could sign up for more than one
14. Is world language still an elective in the new schedule or will it now be a requirement in
Grades 6, 7, & 8?
World language will be offered during the core time for students in Grades 7 and 8. This
allows for students who participate in FLES programs to have a continuous language
experience. Students who need extra support in reading or mathematics will be afforded the
opportunity to participate in support classes during this time frame.
15. When a child is in need of remediation/intervention in Grades 6, 7, and 8, when will the
course be offered?
In the current proposal the bulk of courses that provide additional support for students in
reading and/or math would be scheduled in Grades 6, 7, and 8 during the time frame when
world languages are offered.
16. If students are already fluent in a world language, could they be assigned to an elective
instead of remediation? (e.g. Spanish language chorus for native Spanish speakers in
place of a World Language)
Courses can be proposed to be added to the Program of Studies based upon the needs and
interests of students and families. The process is annual and takes place in the year prior to a
new course being implemented. Scheduling of any course is based upon the individual
school’s master schedule and student enrollment.
17. Will Act II still be offered?
Yes. The expansion of Act II was one of the original middle schools proposals coming out of
this process that was accepted by the School Board three years ago.
18. How will teachers be trained to keep kids' attentive and learning for the longer blocks?
Professional development for teachers is being planned with experts in the field of using
longer, flexible time being utilized as well as APS content area teachers who already use the
longer periods effectively. This will also include the sharing of work by content area
supervisors and specialists who will be collaborating on revising the curriculum pacing
guides this spring and summer.
19. What is the timeline for getting all teachers training in using extended time effectively?
Once approved by the School Board, workshops on teaching effectively in the block will
begin in Spring 2012. Central office staff in collaboration with school based staff will begin
revising curriculum materials during the summer of 2012. Ongoing work with staff will
continue up to and through the implementation phase of the work.
20. How does block scheduling complement or change the current team teaching already in
place in our middle schools?
Teaming is an essential building block of middle schools. Students and staff will continue to
be organized into teams with teachers on teams having common planning time and working
together to implement the instructional program.
21. How much is the professional development expected to cost?
This will be determined once that School Board has approved the final proposal and the
specific system-wide and school-based needs have been assessed.
22. How will the new schedule impact staffing of teachers?
Staffing of teachers is based upon enrollment of students. It is anticipated that changes in
staffing will occur within schools with schools being allotted additional staff as already noted
in the budget.
23. What is the process for making suggested changes to the proposed schedule? How is
APS communicating with parents and other stakeholders and gathering input? How is
APS communicating with parents without internet access, or for families that don't
speak English at home? How are families of elementary students being included in the
During the initial phase, prior to the School Board’s decision on whether or not to move
forward with the flexible scheduling model, the following stakeholder groups are being
engaged in this process:
School-based and central office staff
County Council of PTAs
Advisory Council on Instruction
Teachers Council on Instruction
Collaborative Professional Strategies Team
In addition to the gathering comments and suggestions electronically through the e-mail link
on the web page http://www.apsva.us//site/Default.aspx?PageID=1318 and through the Open
Town Hall online forum that will open on January 30 on the web page, this FAQ will be
made available to all elementary, middle, and high schools to distribute in hard copy as well
as the attached feedback form, both will be translated in Spanish.
24. Because Spanish will not be "paired" with a semester of reading (as is the case now),
does that mean any student can take Spanish? If so, will students be grouped according
Currently, students who have participated in Spanish Immersion, FLES, or who have been
pre-screened for Spanish proficiency may participate in the Transitional Spanish course
offered at Grade 6. In the proposed schedule, the same group of students may elect to take
Transitional Spanish as a semester elective.
25. How will this schedule address the combination of students coming from schools with
FLES, other sixth graders with no language experience, and seventh graders starting a
language? Will they all be combined in a beginner level class? What happens in Grades
7 and 8 - will a third level be offered, or will it be an intensified second level class?
In the proposed schedule, eligibility for participation in Grade 6 Transitional Spanish is not
changed from what is currently in place. As is the current practice, when the individual
school schedule permits students entering Spanish I in Grade 7 will be placed by cohort
group according to proficiency with those students ready for a more in depth study of the
Spanish I curriculum.
26. Will sixth graders be offered other languages?
Other languages will be offered only at Jefferson Middle School where the International
Baccalaureate Middle Years Program requirements mandate that students be offered more
than one language at Grade 6.
27. Will staffing for world languages be increased?
Staffing, as mentioned above in regard to general staffing and as is the current practice, is
determined by enrollment.
28. What will happen to the “wheels”? I understand that they replaced by the choice of 6 th
grade electives is this correct? Are the electives taught for a full year, but at ½ the
hours of core classes so that students have four electives for the entire year, each one for
one period every other day?
Students may continue to select as one of their electives a “wheel” option. Schools will (as
they do currently) select the components of the wheel based upon their staffing and student
29. Will any languages in addition to transitional Spanish be offered at Swanson, Kenmore,
Williamsburg and Gunston’s non-immersion program? If no, is it true that then
students have no exposure to languages (other then transitional Spanish if they are
proficient), not even in an exploratory fashion (as was taught previously in the wheels)?
At Grade 6, semester courses in World Language are not part of the proposal at Swanson,
Kenmore, Williamsburg, or Gunston (non-immersion). World languages can be part of the
wheel option at Grade 6 through two or three short approximately three-week units as is
currently the practice.
30. At Jefferson: are the world languages offerings proficiency-based or solely exploratory?
Will they lead into level I classes in grade 7 or higher? Are these the same languages
currently offered at Jefferson, i.e. Spanish, Latin, French, Arabic, Chinese?
Jefferson is working to define the offerings at Grade 6 in accordance with the requirements
of the International Baccalaureate Programme. Once that plan has been formulated,
information will be posted.
31. I have trouble understanding the sample 6th grade schedule: it seems that the four core
subjects share about the same time in total that five core subjects in grades 7 and 8 use
each day (56 minutes versus 45 minutes per period)? Is reading included in English
language arts in grade 6? Is it correct that the four electives basically share the two
remaining periods (which used to be filled with (daily) PE and one elective)? Or is
there more instructional time embedded in the electives?
It is correct that the core instructional time in Grade 6 is split across four subjects while in
Grades 7 and 8 it is split across five. Under the proposed schedule, Reading standards are
included in the English/Language Arts course and, as appropriate and as is currently the
practice, reinforced in the other content areas.
At Grade 6 students may take Physical Education and three other semester electives each
semester. Therefore, students have three “slots” for electives each semester. Electives
alternate days at Grade 6 under the proposed schedule (for example, PE and one elective on
Day 1 and two electives on Day 2).
32. When did APS decide not to pilot new block schedules at Jefferson and Williamsburg
middle schools in 2012-2013? Why was that decision made?
The decision to hold off on a pilot was related to having all school staffs work together in
planning for the implementation of the flexible block scheduling. This decision was arrived
upon with all of the middle school administrative staff agreeing that rather than have two
schools pilot in the coming year it would be more useful and efficient to have all the schools
implement the schedule at the same time. As is currently the practice, all five middle schools
will use the same framework for their schedules with small variations occurring because of
specific programs that are unique to each school.
33. Why will all five middle schools have to use the same schedule in 2013-2014?
As noted above, as is currently the practice, all five middle schools will use the same
framework for their schedules with small variations occurring because of specific programs
that are unique to each school.
34. I understand that the public is invited to give comments at the upcoming community
forums. Are opportunities to speak reserved ahead of time (as in School Board
meetings), or is the public able to give ad hoc comments or ask questions?
All the community forum sessions are identical. The sessions are formatted so that
information about the schedule is shared in parts. A feedback form is provided for each
participant so that he/she can provide feedback on each component and then as a whole.
Questions and discussion is, of course, a part of the presentation with respect to making sure
that all of the presentation is made and that no one person uses the time to monopolize the
conversation. These are not recorded sessions and the feedback that is gathered is through
the feedback form, rather than notes taken by the presenter. The forms can be completed and
given back to the presenter at the meeting, can be given to the school principal for
forwarding to my office, or sent directly to Mark Macekura by the participant.
35. What electives will be offered to students in addition to band/orchestra/chorus,
transitional Spanish and the wheel?
The offerings will be the same as those that are listed in the current Program of Studies
(POS). Any deletions or additions to the offerings need to be approved by the School Board.
The process for making changes to the 2013-3014 POS begins in March of 2012 with Board
approval occurring in November/December. The link for the POS for 2012-2013 is
36. Please clarify the impact on elective offerings at Grades 6, 7, & 8 in the proposed
The course offerings as they appear in the Middle School Program of Studies which is
approved by the School Board will not change. However, it is the practice at schools to have
some courses (for example, various instrumental music courses such as Beginning Band,
Intermediate Band, etc.) cross-graded. So, while the offerings would remain the same, the
practice of cross-grading would be impacted.
37. Who (i.e., staff, citizen groups, etc.) initially recommended considering block
Considering flexible scheduling was a recommendation that came from the Middle School
Design Team work. The proposed flexible block schedule is in response to this interest in
considering a flexible scheduling model that allows for increased instructional time in core
subjects, adds an elective slot at Grade 6, and allows for a world language continuum K-12 in
38. What are the top ten problems and challenges facing APS middle schools today?
While we do not create a top ten list, certainly the challenges for middle schools in Arlington
as well as across Virginia and nationally include increasing student achievement in reading
and math, closing the achievement gap, and fostering positive relationships.
39. What is the specific substantive educational problems and challenges block scheduling
is supposed to address (as opposed to administrative and scheduling challenges)?
Analysis of Adequate Yearly Progress data as well as the of the development of the APS
Strategic Plan, identified areas needing improvement in middle school student progress and
achievement. Please see the following links:
40. Where, if at all, do the problems and challenges identified in #3 fall in relation to the
response to #2.
The three focus areas mentioned above were developed from an analysis of the existing data
and trends in #3.
41. How much will implementation cost?
This will be determined once that School Board determines a final proposal and the specific
system-wide and school-based needs have been assessed. The Superintendent will be
presenting in the FY13 Proposed Budget a modest placeholder for professional development
funding. Staffing of teachers is based upon enrollment of students. It is anticipated that
changes in staffing will occur within schools as per the schedule design. Staffing will be
provided for in the budget through the planning factors as it is now and should there be a
change due to the schedule design it would then be reflected in the FY14 Proposed Budget.
42. Please provide on the website copies or cites to electronically available copies, of the
various studies and information examined by staff, both pro and con, in developing this
We will review the links to ensure that they are all active and complete; however, we believe
that all the research and information from earlier phases of the process can be found in the
Research & Previous Work and the Information & Materials links on the left side of the web
43. Were statistics were sought or obtained regarding whether moves to block scheduling
had been a success, failure or indeterminate, in other middle schools across the
Studies on block scheduling at the middle school level is minimal as there are not sufficient
number of schools at this level who have implemented block scheduling to create a viable
data pool which is one of the reasons for the inconclusive nature of the research.
44. Was information sought specifically about schools that had tried block scheduling and
then subsequently dropped it?
We are aware of one such school and are presently gathering information on it.
45. Assuming information identified in # 9 was sought, what if any was found and what if
any lessons learned were identified as to why they had dropped block scheduling.
Once we have completed our review we will share it.
46. Please modify the answer to Question No 3 in the FAQ to specifically and expressly
address that portion of the question regarding whether block scheduling is appropriate
for the typical middle schoolers' attention span. The modified response should include
specific, including cites and links to articles and studies discussing both the pro and
cons as well as success stories and failures.
We do not believe that a modification to that response is necessary as it is not a question of
the amount of time spent in a class, but how that time is spent. A block of time that consists
of several different ways of delivering instruction (small groups, stations, and direct
instruction on a specific topic, field, or area of study) can be quite effective with middle
47. In the questions and answers, it is written that transitional Spanish is a semester-
elective. Does this mean that students would only take Spanish for half the year (at only
2 1/2 periods per week on average)? Or (which I had somehow initially understood) is
Spanish available as a choice for the entire school year? Which one is correct?
Transitional Spanish is currently a semester course paired with a semester of Reading. In the
proposed schedule, Transitional Spanish would continue to be offered as a semester elective
through the alternating day schedule.
48. Your sample plans (new link dated 1/27) shows two students in grades 7 and 8 not
taking any world languages, but 4 core subjects, Health&PE, plus band/guitar and
another elective (yearbook, theater arts). What does it really mean that world
languages are part of the core then? I had understood that all students, except those
needing special instruction, would have to take a world languages so that the above
combinations would not be permissible?
In the proposed schedule, world languages are included in the core portion of a student's
schedule in Grades 7 and 8. The benefit of this change is that our experience suggests that
students who take a world language are less likely to also need a support course. So, placing
the world language in the core portion of the schedule allows students to receive support they
need during that slot and still have opportunities to take electives. For those students who do
take world language and need a support class, those opportunities will not be removed from
the elective schedule. If Health and PE were to remain as the fifth core option in Grades 7
and 8 then the options for receiving support are lessened for those students who need it most.
49. I still struggle to understand the electives offered for 6th graders: I have looked at the
program of studies for middle schools. In addition to band/orchestra/choir/other music
and the wheel/rotation subjects, what would be offered as electives in the "traditional"
middle schools (not Jefferson/Gunston)? I know that there is transitional Spanish, but
what other choices are there? Or is it correct that the new scheduling proposal
basically allows students to "mix" the wheel with band, rather than having to decide
between the two? Or are there other subjects that I am overlooking? (I am sorry to
ask this several times, but I cannot find the answer to this).
There have been no additional courses proposed to the Program of Studies for 2013-2014 as
of this time. That process begins in March of 2012 with School Board approval for
additional courses occurring in November/December of 2012 for 2013-2014.
The proposed schedule for Grade 6 affords students an additional slot for an elective. This
means that a student who is taking band may also take one or more of the wheel rotations
and/or transitional Spanish and/or a support class such as Core Plus (new to the 2012-2013
POS) or Math Strategies Grade 6.
50. Link to Middle School Page. I think the direct link from the APS web site home is now
missing. While the page can still be found, it is much harder to find (one way is to go to
the town hall link, and then click further to reach it). I think it might be helpful for
many families to have this restored. Also, I have noticed that the link to the power
point presentation (middle school presentation) is no longer working.
Thank you for noting that, we have re-posted the link on the home page. You can reach the
link by clicking on the Instruction link in the blue bar, then selecting the For Parents link, and
then clicking on the Middle School Proposed Schedule Revisions 2012 link (this link has
always been active). I have also fixed the link to the PowerPoint.
51. How will this block scheduling be applied to the Spanish Immersion Program at
Gunston? Can you send a chart comparing the current schedule for the sixth grade
with that of the block scheduled? Will you send and exemplar for seventh and eighth
grade? Will students continue to have the same amount of class time in Spanish each
day? How is the approach expected to impact the achievement levels of students in
In general, the most important component for the proposed schedule directly related to the
Spanish Immersion Program is the Spanish Language Arts course. As is currently the
practice, this course takes the place of one of the electives for students at Gunston. That
would be the case in the proposed schedule as well. Each school staff is looking at the
proposed schedule through the lens of the specific programs they house. Feedback as to how
the proposed changes could be altered to better meet the needs of each program is being
collected and shared with the Superintendent.
52. Why does the proposal "band" the elective schedule of the different grades into one
time block? Why cannot music be offered daily the way that 3rd period classes are in
Currently electives are placed into one section of the school day by grade level so that a core
team, an essential component of the middle school model, can be maintained. As with other
feedback related to the schedule, the suggestion of changing the proposal to include daily
instruction in instrumental music at Grade 6 can be made.
53. What research can you direct us to on the impact of block scheduling on physical fitness
of middle schoolers or high schoolers? How will the P.E. curriculum be revamped to
take advantage of longer instructional periods?
In the current proposal, there are no Physical Education courses that will be taught in a block
period. The change in Grade 6 that is being proposed is to alternate days for PE.
54. Will students be able to take Algebra I in seventh grade and geometry in eight grade? I
am told that these options will not be available under block scheduling. If you are able
to continue offering these as options, will students be restricted from taking some
electives or other courses? Are you eliminating live instruction and teaching these
course online or by closed circuit tv?
There is no plan to change the course offerings for students in mathematics at the middle
school level as a result of this proposal. Algebra and Geometry will continue to be offered
in Grade 7 and 8 as they are currently.
1. The APS Website cites to citizen involvement on this issue dating back to
2007, What citizen groups examined or looked at the block scheduling issue going
back to 2007?
2. What was the extent of their involvement and when did it occur?
3. What, if any, recommendations were made?
4. If recommendations were made, where they followed?
5. If a recommendation was not followed, what was the reasoning and was the
reasoning articulated and documented?
Membership and Outreach in Middle School Process
Middle School Design Team – Phase I
This first phase involved the five comprehensive middle schools administrative and staff
as well as central office staff as noted.
Bragaw, Kathleen - Special Projects
Burgos, Liz - Gifted Resource, Gunston
Clark, Carolyn - Gunston
Crawford, Julie - Special Education
Dykema, Colleen - ESOL/HILT
Forrester, Chrys - Swanson
Francis, Kathy - Williamsburg
Gilhooley, Margaret - Gifted Services
Gill, Madge - Gunston
Hix, Cathy - Swanson
Johnston, Mark - Department of Instruction
Kelleher, Linda - Swanson
Krieder, Margery Maxwell - Williamsburg
Lamina, Paula - English/Language Arts
Lawson, Millie - Williamsburg
Macekura, Mark - Special Projects
Martini, Kris - CTAE
Norris, Paul - Swanson
Partridge, Laura - Swanson
Perdomo, Marleny - Foreign Language
Roache, Monica - Gunston
Skrzypec, Eric - Williamsburg
Wall, Sher - Williamsburg
Zolman, Mary - English/Language Arts
Dyer, Shauna - Kenmore
Sheehy, Mary Jo - Kenmore
McBride, David - Kenmore
Word, John - Kenmore
Monday June 23, 2008 12 to 4 p.m.
July 23, 2008 8:30 to 3:30 (speakers were Meyer and Saunders from Manassas
August 13, 2008 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Middle School Design Team – Phase II
This second phase involved the middle schools administrative and staff (including
HBW), central office staff, and parents as noted. In addition, a feedback form was
provided to each school, most schools sent this form out through their PTA listserves for
feedback which was incorporated into the Phase II recommendations. All members of
this group were invited to participate in the site visits made during this phase.
Mark Johnston Chair
Chrystal Forrester Principal – Swanson
Kathy Francis Principal – Williamsburg
Madge Gill Principal – Gunston
Frank Haltiwanger Principal – HB Woodlawn
Sharon Monde Principal – Jefferson
John Word Principal – Kenmore
Cheryl Ramp Parent – Gunston
Patty Gibson Parent – Gunston
Debbie Spiliotopoulos Parent – HB Woodlawn
Wendy Zevin Parent – HB Woodlawn
Inez E. Parks Parent – Jefferson
Robin Whitmore Parent – Jefferson
Dan Laredo Parent – Kenmore
Anne Wilson Parent – Kenmore
Betsy Brown Parent – Swanson
Tecla Murphy Parent – Swanson
Allison Walker Parent – Williamsburg
Emily Nack Parent – Williamsburg
Pat Robertson Core Supervisor
Kris Martini Elective Supervisor
Julie Crawford Student Services
Dan Redding Personnel
Danielle Schwartz (Gunston) School-Based – English
Anne Conrad (HBW) School-Based – Reading
Charlene Kiefer (Kenmore) School-Based – Mathematics
Debra Neuhaus-Palmer School-Based – Science
Patty Newby-Tuttle School-Based – Social Studies
Sophie Luxmoore (Gunston) School-Based – Special Education
Susan Holland (Jefferson) School-Based – Counseling Services
Colleen Dykema (Swanson) School-Based – ESOL/HILT
Joel Woodson (Kenmore) School-Based – Arts
Leni Bronstein (Williamsburg) School-Based – Foreign Language
Sally Wells (HBW) School-Based – Health & PE
Andrea Myers (Jefferson) School-Based – CTE
Elena Rodriguez (Gunston) School-Based – Librarian
Mimi Carter (Jefferson) School-Based – Assistant Principal
Lee Dorman AEA
Kathleen Bragaw Staff Liaison
Mark Macekura Staff Liaison
Middle School Design Team Phase II (administrators, parents, teachers)
December 2, 2008 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
December 16, 2008 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
February 9, 2009 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
February 24, 2009 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
March 16, 2009 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
March 30, 2009 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Opportunity to visit MCPS Shady Grove Middle School February 20, 2009
Opportunity to visit Metz Middle School in Manassas December 16, 2008
Middle School Design Team – Middle School Alternative Schedule Development
This schedule development phase involved the five comprehensive middle schools
administrative staff as well as central office staff as noted and was facilitated by former
APS principals Marie Shiels-Djouadi and Margaret McCourt-Dirner (who had been a middle
school principal from the beginning of middle schools in APS)
Timeline for Facilitation Team
June Individual Meetings with Principals
Early-July Middle School Principals Focus Group
Mid-July Principals Work with School Staff
Early-August Individual Meetings with Principals
Mid-August Middle School Principals Focus Group
Mid-August Principals Work with School Staff
August/September Draft Schedule(s) to School Staff, Central Office Staffs, and Parents
October/November Budget Requests for FY13 Budget
November Final Schedule(s) to Assistant Superintendent, ,Instruction
Work with Michael Rettig:
February 9, 2011 – Michael Rettig met with Principals, Directors of Counseling,
selected supervisors (Arts Ed, CTE, ESOL/HILT, Health/PE), and Assistant
Superintendents for Instruction Student Services for retreat on scheduling
March 23 and 24, 2011 – Michael Rettig met with all Principals and Directors of
Counseling and then went to each school to meet with school-based team designated
Summer 2011 – Michael Rettig created variations on model discussed in March visit
October 18 and 19, 2011 – Michael Rettig met with Principals, Directors of
Counseling, and school based team designated by the principal
56. Will the change to the proposed flexible block scheduling increase class sizes?
The Arlington Public Schools planning factors and recommended maximums for class
sizes will continue to provide guidance for class size and staffing allocation decisions.
In Grades 7 and 8 there is no anticipated change to class size because of the shift to
proposed schedule. In Grade 6, depending upon how individual schools decide how to
use their School Board approved staffing allocations, there may be a small increase in
core class sizes. Because of the increased number of elective offerings, there is no
anticipated increase in size of elective classes.
Middle School Scheduling Proposal – Feedback Form
Grade 8 Core Schedule
What do you see as the strengths?
What are the challenges?
What are your concerns?
Grade 7 Core Schedule
What do you see as the strengths?
What are the challenges?
What are your concerns?
Grade 6 Core Schedule
What do you see as the strengths?
What are the challenges?
What are your concerns?
Grades 7 & 8 PE/Electives Schedule
What do you see as the strengths?
What are the challenges?
What are your concerns?
Grade 6 PE/Electives Schedule
What do you see as the strengths?
What are the challenges?
What are your concerns?
Please return this form to your chair or identified facilitator if you are part of a group presentation or public forum; your middle school principal;
or Mark Macekura, 1439 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22207.