George Lucas Educational Foundation

Middle School Schedules

Middle School Schedules

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My school will be looking at alternate schedules for the 2012-2013 school year to maximize instructional time, allow for time for special learning opportunities for struggling learners, and provide connection time for our interdisciplinary teams. I would appreciate any successful (and, possibly, "out of the box") scheduling decisions your schools have reached. In advance, thanks for your help!

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G Jordan's picture
G Jordan
MS/HS Math Teacher/ Math Coach

I was reading Kevin's response and was really getting sold on the inititive to keep core classes in the middle when he brought up the difficulties. Thanks for sharing.

Jay Clark's picture
Jay Clark
Principal - Van Buren Middle School (Van Buren, OH)

We have a terrific schedule that allows for interdisciplinary teams to be flexible.

2 hours of core time in the morning
Middle of the day - grade levels each have 40 minute advisory, 25 minute lunch, 40 minute exploratory, 40 minute music/electives - teachers have advisory, individual planning, lunch, and team planning
2 hours of core time in the afternoon

It's very simple and allows for terrific collaboration!

Jay Clark

Mo Barndt's picture
Mo Barndt
middle grades Social Studies from Phoenix, Arizona

We are going into our 3rd or maybe 4th schedule for the year. We had 7 classes where each was about 40 minutes long with no scheduled passing time. The made it very difficult to be able to teach. We didn't have common planning time which ment that we would have to lose lunch or plan on our own time. Hopefully this new schedule will work best for all involved.

Mary's picture
Parent of two boys

There is a proposal to move the middle schools in my area to block-scheduling. 80-minute classes for 6th graders and 90-minute classes for 7th and 8th graders. I know this offers opportunities for great teachers, but does anyone have experience with how this has worked for students, especially in terms of their attention spans? Thanks!

Nina DeSantis's picture
Nina DeSantis
6-8 Arts and Humanities

6th grade
Core periods 1-3
2 A&H, PLVS periods
Schoolwide intervention time 1:00-!:40
Core- periods 7-8

7th grade
Core team- 1-4
A&H, PlVS 2 periods

8th grade
Core 1st period
A&H, PLVS 2-3 periods
Core 4-5
Core-7-8 periods

Kevin Crosby's picture
Kevin Crosby
Educator and School Counselor / Trinidad School District #1

I really like the idea of schoolwide intervention time. In this way, those who need interventions are not denied electives, and those who don't need interventions are not denied electives due to teachers needing to teach more interventions. However, when the interventions are web-based (Compass Learning), we just don't have enough computers to do it all at once.

Back in the '90's we had M/E period; mastery/enrichment. Those who did not need what we now call interventions were provided enrichment activities. It was effective.

shanebravo's picture
In the world the parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting so

For kids the Flexible scheduling speed up the transition from seminal school to high school. It creates a focused and creative learning atmosphere. The middle school is a time of change in a student's life instead of a single class. Home economical classes were presented in middle schools schedule. The Students start moving from one classroom to another and learning from different teachers.

Things to do with Kids

Casey Cagle's picture
Casey Cagle
Full-time teacher, gamer, and educational technology innovator with a passion for gamifying the classroom

We have a school wide intervention time during our advisory period that is largely ineffective because it is purely based on boosting math performance, though a great number of our kids don't need daily help in math. The thinking is that those kids who need extra help will get it from whoever their advisory teacher is (be it an English teacher or an art teacher), and the rest will be able to practice so that standardized test scores will rise. A few of us are now teaching microelectives such as multiculturalism, cooking, and I am teaching robotics.

Class periods are 45 minutes long, which cuts things like labs and fluid group working close, and advisory/intervention is 25 minutes before lunch. We are pushing for a blocked schedule at my campus, but the outlook isn't good because there is concern about student behavior due to the longer classes. I think that if the kids are in an engaging classroom environment, then 1.5 hour classes will work, given that the activities are broken into manageable chunks, and a variety of strategies are used on a daily basis.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Hi Kristen, welcome to the Edutopia community. It looks like you've stumbled on an older conversation, and I'm not sure the participants are still following this thread.

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