Arlington will consider expanding the school day

Last night Margaret Gilhooley, the interim assistant superintendent for instruction, was the staff contact for a PowerPoint presentation to the Arlington County School Board dealing with the recent discussions of switching middle schools to block scheduling.

Here are the recommendations included in the Middle School Update agenda item:

Moving forward…

  • Maintain existing middle school schedules
    • to permit and support school-based flexibility to meet student needs
    • to allow schools to develop their own flexible block schedules
  •   Provide targeted school-based professional learning
  •   Investigate expansion of the school day through:
  • Providing additional elective options
  • Exploring ways to increase time in core content areas
  • Supporting school-level decisions to develop flexible scheduling options within a school and/or team
  • Reviewing start times and length of school days

I am not sure about what procedures are being considered for schools to develop their own block schedules. I will be interested in learning more about this.

The PowerPoint, entitled Middle School Restructuring, School Board Update, June 2012, summarized the study so far:

We have listened..

  • Five community forums
  •  Superintendent meeting with teachers at each middle school
  •  School-based staff meetings
  •  Open Town Hall online forum
  • ACI Advisory Committees dialogue and input
  • Online surveys
  • Individual e-mails
  • Individual feedback forms (electronic and hard copies)

What we heard…

  • Interest in more time for instruction
  • Interest in maintaining cross-graded elective opportunities
  • Interest in allowing flexibility in meeting specific instructional needs for English Language Learners and students with disabilities
  • Need to ensure appropriate reading instruction in Grade 6
  • Interest in providing equitable world language opportunities for all students in Grade 6
  • Interest in increasing instructional time in mathematics

See also Arlington Public Schools consider switching to block schedules and Arlington continues discussions about block scheduling

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