Middle School Schedule Update

Dear Families of Attea Middle School,

At Monday night's Board of Education meeting, principals from both middle schools presented our recommendation to move the middle school schedule to a fixed block model in order to better meet the needs of our students. A fixed block model means that the lengths of classes and the order of classes will be fixed in a specific pattern and will remain the same for the entire school year.

Ultimately, we feel this new model will provide the following for our schools:

1.     A sense of order and stability for students
2.     Fidelity of implementation of support and services
3.     Better utilization of staff members to teach multiple grades without locking certain blocks
4.     Maximize use of space in the building

As you are aware, this recommendation stems from a considerable amount of work by the Middle School Schedule Committee, which has been meeting since Fall of 2015 and included representatives from both schools. I’d like to thank the staff from both Attea and Springman who served on the committee for their dedication, and I would also like to thank our parent community for sharing your important perspectives with us during our parent feedback sessions this winter.

It was important that we looked at the organization of the current schedule and determine whether, 20 years later, this is what is still best for students. We knew there were certain constraints that needed to be addressed, and it was important that we had the time to thoughtfully develop a recommendation that meant we were going to meet the needs of our students to a greater extent.

The committee evaluated a myriad of different options, and while some of these options offered positive solutions for students, they also presented equal challenges such as having to increase staff or taking time away from other subject areas.

Our recommendation tonight addresses some specific educational needs and will truly allow for a much more predictable schedule for students. With that said, we are also recommending that the committee continue to meet next school year and dive deeper into some other aspects of the schedule that may need to be adjusted in the future.

We will be returning to the Board in May and share more details about this recommendation, specifically whether the middle schools would like to implement a fixed three-block model or a fixed four-block model.  At that time, we also will continue to communicate with our parents and students to best support you with this potential transition.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.


Mark Richter