(Beaver Dam) There are some changes in store this year for students at the Beaver Dam Middle School…that have nothing to do with the fiery car crash that knocked a hole in the building. Earlier this year, the school board approved schedule changes increasing the length of English and math classes. The initial plan was to reduce the number of electives offered to make way for the expanded instructional time in core classes.
A committee comprised of school officials and parents was assembled to review alternatives, recommending a plan that not only spared electives but also increased the number of periods in the day from eight to nine.
Superintendent Mark DiStefano says the schedule design has afforded students the ability to take and continue to take a robust menu of courses while also allowing the district to address a call to action to increase the amount of focus in core academic areas. He says test scores continue to indicate, particularly at the middle school level, that the district needs to continue working toward improving performance and setting students up for success in core academic areas.
Math and English classes increased in length from 46-minutes to 85-minutes while science, social studies and electives were reduced by five minutes to 41-minutes; students will still be able to take three electives. There will also be a 14-minute advisory period after lunch; previously advisory was 18 minutes.
The changes will have a rippling effect on where classrooms are located. We will talk about that impact in a follow-up segment to this story tomorrow.