September 18, 2020
Dear Elementary and Middle School Families,
We hope that this correspondence finds you and your family well. As we prepare to enter into Week 3 of virtual learning, we would like to share some updates and revisions to the kindergarten thru 2nd grade (K-2), 3rd thru 5th grade, and middle school student schedules.
First, thank you for bringing forward both your compliments and concerns regarding your personal experience with virtual learning thus far. We truly value your feedback. After hearing from families and students alike, the District along with building leaders have met to discuss how to better address the concerns that have been brought forward. Among them, many K-2 parents were concerned about implementing age-appropriate screen time for their children; and, at the middle school level, there were concerns about the passing time and a late lunch for students.
At the elementary school level for 3rd – 5th grade students, the only change to their schedule is reflected in an earlier lunch/recess time. In addressing the K-2nd grade questions/concerns, our problem solving led schedulers to the following resolution:
- Shift all ‘special’ classes (Art, Music, PE, Library, etc.) to an asynchronous model in the afternoons. This allows for all K-2 students Districtwide to have the same academic/core focus for the morning 8:30 am-11:30 am;
- The shift allows a break for students from screen time, giving families the opportunity to engage their special classes at a time that best suits them and their needs;
- The adjustment decreases the amount of screen time per core academic course area to allow for better student stamina and engagement;
- Teachers will have scheduled availability for small group or individual support in the afternoons. Especially for students who have shown a need for intensive academic intervention; and,
- This adjustment will also allow time for synchronous related services to take place during the afternoon window.
In addressing the middle school concerns, schedulers were able to move students’ lunch period to an earlier time daily and provide movement breaks in the morning (10 minutes) and after lunch (10 minutes).
Attached please find the revised elementary and adjusted middle school schedules which will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020. We wish you a safe weekend and thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we seek to best serve our students.
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools