Work to Review/Revise Graduation Requirements & Master Schedule Starting in the 2021-2022 Year
The high school administration has been charged with the task of making recommendations to the Superintendent / School Board of revisions to both the graduation requirements, as noted in SRSD School Board Policy IKF and the SRHS Program of Studies; as well as the bell schedule / master schedule for the high school.
The goals of the revisions are to address the following:
1. Allow for more balanced class sizes in all courses and sections offered by the school. The target class size average is 22 students per section, up from 19 students per section currently.
2. Allow for increased instructional time for priority core courses (such as grade 9-10 ELA and mathematics).
3. Reduce the number of “preps” for teachers
4. Revisit the requirements for the Diploma With Distinction to promote increased rigor. This would be accomplished by looking at a decrease to the number of courses a student can take, but would not change the amount of instructional time a student spends engaged in their studies. This strategy would promote depth over breadth.
5. Allow for teacher supervision duties in the schedule
A more comprehensive plan will be presented to the School Board in mid to late December 2020 for review.
The current schedule is built on the foundation that students take 8.25 credits each year (for a total of 33 credits over four years). A full time teaching position is assigned to provide instruction for 6 credits. This foundation has been in place since at least 2006.
From at least 2006 - 2013, the school used a 4x4 block schedule. This schedule was discontinued, and replaced with the current bell schedule for the start of the 2013-2014 school year. This change came about after a year of research by the school community and a conclusion that an ideal high school schedule must address the following priorities:
· Priority #1: The schedule must allow for teacher collaboration time, known as Professional Learning Community (PLC) time, embedded into the school day.
· Priority #2: The schedule must allow for time that can be used flexibly to provide reteaching, intervention, and enrichment to all students at the same time (this has become known as Focused Learning Time, or FLT).
· Priority #3: The schedule must allow for year-long courses (the 4x4 schedule did not).
Since 2013, the bell schedule has not had any major revisions and has addressed the three priorities listed above effectively.
Seven years after the implementation of the current schedule, it is time to revisit this topic. It is still believed that priorities #1 and #2 are necessary. The first priority can be met through the Superintendent’s proposal to have early release Wednesdays on every five day week next year and therefore does not need to be included as a condition of a new schedule. The second priority can be met in a variety of schedule models, not just the one that is currently used.
Priority #3 is necessary, but only in certain circumstances (core subjects, for example). It is believed that requiring all courses to be year-long creates some efficiencies that could be resolved if certain courses (electives, etc) could be offered in a shorter term.
In order for changes to be made for the 2020-2021 school year, the following timeline is proposed:
· Proposal Development: November - December 2020
· School Board Approval: Late December 2020
· Program of Studies Re-Build: December 2020 - January 2021
· Course Selections: February 2021
· Staffing Decisions: Due April 1, 2021
Please reach out to the administrators at Sanborn Regional High School if you have questions about this work.