Middle School Schedule Redesign
At the May 23rd Central Bucks School Board Meeting, a new middle school schedule was approved to be implemented at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Below are some key elements that this schedule change brings for next school year.
- The schedule will consist of seven class periods, instead of the current six periods.
- Each of the seven class periods will be 50 minutes long.
- The new schedule will allow all students in grades 7-9 to have two additional “specials” or electives.
- A 19-minute Advisory Period will be on the schedule every day for all three grade levels.
- A new course, Integrated Technology, will be required for seventh and eighth graders and it will be included as an elective choice for ninth graders.
- A new course titled Innovation and Creativity will be added to the seventh-grade curriculum.
- Health and PE will be required all three years.
Please see this document for additional details related to the schedule change.
Middle School Schedule May 10th Meeting
Members of the Central Bucks Board of School Directors learned about the recent work by the CB Middle School Schedule Committee and had the opportunity to ask questions about the group’s recommendations at the May 10 meeting of the school board’s Curriculum Committee.
Dr. Scott Davidheiser, CB assistant superintendent for secondary education, made a presentation to the Board Committee, including the new schedule model that has been recommended by the schedule committee, along with a proposed timeline for implementation and estimate of the budgetary impact.
Key aspects of the proposed new middle school schedule are as follows.
- The school days would have seven class periods, instead of the current six periods.
- The new schedule would allow all students in grades 7-9 to have two additional “specials” or electives.
- Periods would be 50 minutes long, rather than the current 56 minutes.
- A 19-minute Advisory Period would be on the schedule every day for all three grade levels.
- A new course, Integrated Technology, would be added for seventh and eighth grades.
- A new course titled Innovation and Creativity would be added to the seventh-grade curriculum.
The proposed new schedule could be implemented at the start of the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.
Comments, questions, and suggestions on the proposed middle school schedule change are invited. Please use MSschedule@cbsd.org.
The Central Bucks School District initially engaged our district community in reflecting on the current middle school academic schedule through a survey distributed last October. The survey was developed by the district’s administration and sent via e-mail blast, Facebook, and Twitter to parents and secondary students.
The feedback from that survey, which was compiled and sorted into seven groups, is posted below. Additionally, student and teacher focus groups were conducted at each of the five middle schools in November. Follow-up questions were posed to each of the groups across the five middle schools in order to help dig deeper into the survey data (themes from both focus groups are posted below).
To provide parents with details of the focus group and survey results, and to discuss their thoughts and concerns, the district held special meetings in January at each of the five middle schools.
Kick off Meeting
From those well-attended meetings, 14 parents were invited to join the Middle School Schedule Committee, along with 10 students (two from each middle school), 13 teachers and guidance counselors, 10 principals, and 12 curriculum supervisors, curriculum coordinators and special education supervisors. The committee’s first meeting, which was held February 7, focused on developing a shared understanding of the Central Bucks District’s philosophy and expectations for our middle schools (see photos here).
“Our work on the middle school schedule will be grounded in all of the aspects of student life in middle schools,” Scott Davidheiser, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for secondary education, told the committee. He thanked those attending the kickoff meeting and discussed the plan for the five meetings set for this spring.
The committee reviewed published research and other documents on middle school teaching and learning to inform the discussion on the Central Bucks middle school schedule.