Elementary program enhancements for Fall 2018

Kindergarten through fifth grade classroom schedules for the 2018-19 school year
will feature approximately 70 hours of additional instructional time for elementary
students. This change is made possible by hiring additional specialist teachers to
provide opportunities for teacher preparation and planning time (270 minutes)
throughout the week, rather than having a two hour block of teacher preparation
time each Wednesday afternoon. The 40 minute period of time set aside (early
release) for teacher Professional Learning Communities will remain in place and
consistent for all K-12 schools.

This 70-hour increase in instructional time provides the equivalent to
approximately three extra school weeks (nearly 7 percent more classroom time)
with teachers for our students. The change will also allow students to have a
consistent daily routine, and more consistent schedules for families. This planned
change to add specialist time to the elementary school schedule will be equitably
implemented across all four elementary schools.

A committee of teachers and principals met five times this winter to provide ideas
and implementation input into the development of increased teacher specialist time.

In addition to regular instructional time, students’ weekly schedule in the 2018-19
school year will include:

  • 90 minutes of Physical Education (30+ additional minutes of specialist time)
  • 60 minutes of Library/Media Tech (30+ additional minutes of specialist time)
  • 60 minutes of Visual Arts (new specialist time)
  • 60 minutes of Music (existing specialist time)

While students are being taught by specialists, their classroom teachers will use this
270 minutes for weekly planning and instructional preparation time. Teachers will
continue to have 40 minutes of dedicated time on Wednesday afternoons to meet as
Professional Learning Communities.

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