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Each teacher is given an individual planning period along with another planning period for department or team grade level planning. Four core teachers make up a team as well as two special education teachers and a instructional assistant. The exception is in the 6th grade, there are 5 core teachers to accommodate for double block English. They also have a 30 minute duty free lunch.

The Special Education programs at Blue Ridge Middle School are specific to each student. A full continuum of services is offered, ranging from co-taught classes to more individualized pull-out classes. Blue Ridge Middle School also offers Directed Study as an elective class which allows students in Special Education to receive additional homework help, social skills instruction, and study skills support.

Constraints to the schedule

There are a few constraints which affect how the schedule works. Some of these constraints are:

  • 3 Lunch periods (30 minutes)
  • 5 minute class changes
  • Will foreign language teachers be part time or will we share with the high school?
  • Bells: Do we want actual bells or not?
  • The number of students in the hall during class changes
  • 6th grade double block reading

Budget

This schedule was created while looking at a well funded school scenario. If there were severe budget restraints certain programs could be eliminated or class sizes could increase as long as they still meet Virginia's Standards of Quality requirements. Our current teacher to student ratio is less than 25 to 1.

Master schedule timeline

Date Task Participants Completed
1 Oct.-Nov. 2010 Update Program of Studies
  • Department offerings
  • Guidance selections
  • Department chair
  • Principal
  • Guidance
  • Assistant Principal
2 Oct.-Nov. 2010 Update directories
  • Rooms
  • Courses (preliminary)
  • Principal
  • Admin. Secretary
3 Jan. 2011 Print and distribute Program of Studies
  • Guidance
4 Jan. 2011 Meet with Guidance Dept, to review process, course numbers, and timelines
  • Principal
  • Guidance
5 Jan. –May 2011 Begin Scheduling Process
  • Calendar must be developed
  • Course selections entered
  • Guidance
  • Principal
5a Elementary School visits
  • Guidance
5b High School visits
  • High School Guidance
5c SPED articulation meetings
  • SPED Coordinator
6 After each grade level is scheduled
  1. Run and review “Course Request Verification” report
  2. Run report that shows student having gaps in their schedule
  • Principal
  • Guidance
7 May 17, 2011 Complete scheduling of unscheduled students
  • Guidance
8 May 20, 2011 Run “Course Request Tally” report
  • Create sections
  • Eliminate small courses
  • Set combinations
  • Estimate number of teacher and room resources
  • Principal
  • Admin. Secretary
  • Guidance
9 May 25, 2011 Share course tallies with department heads. Ask department heads for items to consider.
  • Principal
  • Dept. heads
10 May 27, 2011 Look critically at resources and courses
  • Set periods (where required)
  • Principal
  • Admin. Secretary
11 May 31, 2011 Run Simulation
  • Analyze for class size, balance, and use of staff
  • Principal
  • Admin. Secretary
12 June 2, 2011 Share “Master Schedule” report with department heads
  • Departments suggest teachers
  • Principal
  • Department heads
13 First week of June 2011 Consider department heads suggestions and adjust as needed
  • Principal
14 June 14, 2011 Guidance resolve issues of students with F’s and D’s
  • Guidance
15 Week of June 14, 2011 Share master schedule with department heads
  • Principal
  • Department heads
16 Week of June21, 2011 Run Student Scheduler
  • Principal
17 Week of June 21, 2011 Analyze Scheduling Results
  • Principal
18 Week of July 5, 2011 Run report showing scheduling conflicts
  • Guidance resolves conflicts
  • Guidance
19 Week of July 5, 2011 Final Mater and Student adjustments
  • Re-evaluate class size and drop small classes
  • Adjust loads
  • Principal
  • Guidance
20 July 14, 2011 Room assignments
  • Principal
  • Building administrators
21 July 15, 2011 Verify schedules
  • Guidance
22 July 30, 2011 Mail teacher schedules
  • Office staff
23 August 2, 2011 Mail student schedules
  • Office staff
24 August 4-15, 2011 Schedule change requests
  • Guidance
25 August 22, 2011 Students return (tentative)

Here is the link to our Course Offerings in a pdf version .

Here is the link to our Master Schedule in a pdf version .

Here is the link to our Master Schedule Basic Core Structure in a pdf version .

Here is the link to our Middle School Master Schedule PowerPoint .

References

Creighton, Theodore (2007). Schools and data: The Guide for using data to improve decision making, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Creighton, Theodore (2007). Leading from below the surface: A non-traditional approach to school leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

National Middle School Association (2010). This We Believe:Keys to Educating Young Adolescents. Westerville, OH: NMSA.

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Source:  OpenStax, Nature and context of educational administration. OpenStax CNX. Sep 17, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11214/1.3
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