Here's an update on our planning for primary multi-age configuration for the Fall.
On Thursday night I shared about our plans last night, alongside some really gracious and thoughtful folks from Corbett School District who talked about their own experience with the transition. The meeting was very positive -- we are really building some positive momentum toward the transition. My big take-aways from the Corbett team were:
- that the shift to multi-age provided the opportunity for a mindset change, away from thinking about children in terms of their grouping, and toward a vision of children as individual learners with unique pathways.
- that the focus should be on time for collaboration versus expected resources (the true resource needs will become apparent quickly).
- that the most difficult part of the transition in Corbett was allowing the adults processing time; the children responded beautifully.
- Our staffing is now set, with teams established for the kinder, 1-2, and 3-4 levels. We recently continued site visits, with Al leading tours of Corbett.
- The second full planning day for staffing is approaching: May 21st for the 3-4 team and May 30th for the 1-2 team.
- All further professional development time set aside for reconfiguration. Wednesday early release team is devoted entirely to planning: May 9, May 23, and June 6.
- Summer work sessions, to be defined by new Advisory Task Force
• It will be focused on the K, 1-2, and 3-4 programs
• Develop resource needs list and recommend admin/PTC supports
• Develop formal feedback loops for 12-13 school year
• Debbie Gorenstein and Michelle Sager will represent their respective teaching teams
• Michelle Janke, Christina Clarke, Elaine Lowe will be parent members
• Jeremiah and PTC President Heather Bogaty, as key communicators and resource providers
• Nanci Schneider, where appropriate
• Outcomes of meetings approved by administration and shared with teacher and parent body
• Invite input from Superintendent, NWESD, NW Regional Labs, and others
with experience and expertise in multi-age instruction
In addition, please keep an eye out for these pieces, coming before June 1:
Placement surveys (this week) -- we will be asking for input relevant to placement for the 2012-2013 school year.
"Day in the Life" & "Year at a Glance" documents showing curriculum outline and general day flow in multi-age rooms. These will give a sense of the way the school year will unfold. The purpose is to provide a clear and more concrete understanding of what the experience will be, from the child's viewpoint.
5-8 General Staffing Plan -- Many parents have inquired as to how the staffing at 5-8 next year will impact programs. We will be sharing a comprehensive staffing plan that articulates the general schedule for students for the 2012-2013 school year. I can share today that it will be based on the following tenets:
- Increased flexibility of assignment (teachers are 5-8, vs. 5-6/7-8)
- Increased quality, offerings of electives
- Increased multi-age emphasis, especially at 5-6
- Consistency of class size
- Focus on the value of common team planning time
- Return to seven period day, middle school electives at end to minimize impact of athletics on core academic courses