MS FAQ Jan 2012 v14

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MS FAQ Jan 2012 v14 Powered By Docstoc
					       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:

   http://www.apsva.us//site/Default.aspx?PageID=1318

   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:

   •   Provide
          – 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
   Spanish Immersion?

   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
    Arts/Music?
  While there is some variation in implementation among elementary schools the overarching
  legal requirement and various content specific requirement or recommendations are as
  follows:

  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
   English
                  90 mins/day             3-5         International Reading Association
Language Arts
                  60 mins/day                  K-5
Mathematics                                                            Curriculum

                  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
      Art                                                              Curriculum
                  60 mins/week                 1-5
                  60 mins/week                 K-3
                                                                       Curriculum
    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
                                                                        PIP 20-1
   Education
                  30 mins/day, each day by     K-5
                  classroom teachers

11. Will the time saved from class transitions really be enough to add an elective for sixth
    graders?

   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
    world language?

   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
   music course.

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
    communication?

   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
          School PTAs
          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
    to proficiency?

   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
   interest.

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

   http://www.apsva.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2007\



36. Please clarify the impact on elective offerings at Grades 6, 7, & 8 in the proposed
    schedule.

   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
    scheduling?

   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
   Spanish.




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:

   AYP Results:
   http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/VA01000586/Centricity/Domain/2958/AYP%202008-
   2011.pdf

   Strategic Plan:
   http://www.apsva.us/page/1138


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
    recommendation.

   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
   page.


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
    country?
   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
   school students.



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
    Spanish?
   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
    high school?

   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.


55. Process
    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

Meetings:
 Monday June 23, 2008 12 to 4 p.m.
 July 23, 2008 8:30 to 3:30 (speakers were Meyer and Saunders from Manassas
  Schools)
 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
       (Swanson)
       Patty Newby-Tuttle              School-Based – Social Studies
       (Williamsburg)
       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
     by principal
    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
Group:                                                                             Date:
                                                                               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.




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