(Beaver Dam) After public backlash to proposed changes to the Beaver Dam Middle School schedule, the administration has decided more research is needed before any alterations are made. Earlier this month, the school board heard from students, parents and teachers concerned about a reduction in the number of periods in the school day from eight to seven and an increase in the length of Math and Reading classes. The goal would be to improve academic performance which has been in-decline since 2014.
During a Board of Education Teaching and Learning Committee meeting Monday, Director of Teaching and Learning Sandra David made the recommendation to keep the middle school schedule the same for the upcoming school year, which was endorsed by the committee. She says the rationale behind the decision is that more time is needed to create mock schedules using research-based, best practices of middle schools. David added that teacher, student and parent voices need to be included.
A scheduling committee will reconvene to work on the mock schedules in hopes of reaching a minimum of 60 minutes for mathematics and English Language Arts. Davis says additional time in these areas is research suggested in meeting the expectations required by the state standards.
Superintendent Mark DiStefano says the goal is to get to a schedule that maximizes the amount of time spent in core academic areas and is not to get to a seven period day. An updated recommendation for the 2019-2020 school year would be made no later than February 2019. DiStefano says it will be grounded in research and district data as well as include the staffing and budgetary impacts. He says the updated timeline will provide opportunity for stakeholders to engage in the process.