March 6, 2015

Plans for the move to new grade spans continue to advance on time and on budget. As the current school year begins to wind down, teams are fine-tuning their work and focusing on logistical considerations that will help ensure a successful transition to the new PreK/K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade configuration, beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.

Middle Level Design Team

A Guide to Middle School will be mailed the week of March 9 to parents/guardians of students currently in grades 5-7. Middle school principals are also working on schedules for next year (determining which classes are held at what time during the day). Next steps for the middle level design team include considering any necessary changes to middle level report cards.

About the middle school music program
The way the music program is delivered in the middle school model will be different from the way it’s delivered in a junior high model, which will have some implications in terms of instructional time (more time for 6th graders); band/orchestra instruction (full vs small groups); and staffing (fewer staff required to deliver the program at the middle level).

Here’s a look at how the current instruction in grades 6-8 compares to next year:

Grade 6 current Grade 6 next year
90 minutes of classroom music instruction per 6-day cycle (A/B schedule) 126 minutes of classroom music instruction per 6-day cycle (A/B schedule)
30 minutes of band/orchestra instruction per 5-day cycle 126 minutes of band/orchestra instruction per 6-day cycle
Grade 7 current Grade 7 next year
A/B schedule for music options (general music, band, choir, orchestra) No change
Separate instrument group instruction in band/orchestra Full band/orchestra instruction
Grade 8 current Grade 8 next year
Music elective every day No change

Fewer staff will be required for the middle school program compared to the current junior high program, primarily due to 6th graders having an A/B schedule vs 9th graders being on a daily schedule. Middle school music teachers will also serve more students than in the junior high model.

Staffing Team

The teacher transfer process is underway and will continue in three phases until all positions are filled.

Logistics Team

The logistics team is meeting with designated point people at every school to ensure that site-specific plans are in place for moving staff and materials/equipment.

Technology

The team is continuing to update databases, as needed, to reflect the new grade spans. They are also assessing storage space that will be needed for equipment during the transition, particularly over the summer.

High School Facilities

Construction (building additions and repurposing of space) is continuing on time and on budget.

Following each monthly meeting of a steering committee, the district website is updated with the most current information.