MSM #16 Surviving Schedule

Shawn and I wrap up our NMSA07 Conference Experience. Today we tackle a couple of topics- Scheduling and Survival Camp for 6th graders (Transitioning)
First up, we take a look at scheduling:

Need to involve stakeholders for input:

  • Administrators
  • Counselors
  • Teachers
  • Students

Some questions to ponder:

  • Should each course receive equal time?
  • Do core subjects (especially those tested) receive more time?
  • Is literacy something different?
  • How many subjects should students deal with?
  • Block Schedule vs Daily schedule
  • How long can kids attend?
  • Are staff trained in different time use strategies?
  • What about “disruptions”? (Assemblies, testing, special presentations).

There are two things which drive all schedules:

  1. Lunch
  2. Buses

Don’t forget about them but work around them.

Remember the systematic structure:

  • Provide Common planning
  • Promote Professional Learning Communities
  • Promote Flexibility for teams
  • Special needs students (ELL, RR)

Understand that there are options:

  • Rotating schedules
  • Alternate Day schedules
  • Mixed schedules

Additional Resource:  Ohio Middle School Association Pre-Conference session on scheduling:  Contact Information:  Charlie Beard and 1 (419) 824-3718 

Planning 6th Grade Survivor Camp

1.  Create Schedule/Rotation

2.  Create Student/Parent Group Session

3.  Create Student Session Topics

4.  Handouts!!!!

5.  6th Grade Handbook

6.  Sign-in Sheets for Students & Parents

7.  Advertise!  Advertise!  Advertise!

8.  Acquire Sponsors:  $100 for a slot on the shirt.

9.  Prepare Snacks

10.  Prepare Receipt books for sale of Items!

11.  Parent Resource Center

Supporting Reasons for Middle School Transitional Programs

1.  Meets Title I requirements for providing plans for transitions.

2.  Meets Title I requirements for parent involvement.

3.  Fulfills several indicators for accreditation standards.

4.  Provides for healthy, safe, and supportive school climate.

5.  Supports middle school philosophy.

6.  Contributes to cohesive staff.

7.  Makes first day of school easier.

8.  Eases fear of unknown/anxiety for parents and students.

9.  Diminishes locker anxiety for parents and students.

10.  Informs and explains rules and procedures.

11.  Provides information about tutoring opportunities.

12.  Produces fewer discipline referrals.

13.  Provides opportunity to identify possible “issues.”

14.  Provides positive first impressions and dispel rumors.

15.  Trains pupils to implement rules/procedures on the first day.

16.  Diminishes first day fears and “ailments” for students.

17.  Provides relaxed, first meeting atmosphere for stakeholders.

18.  Curtails “hovering” parents on the first morning of school.

Conference Information:

Michigan Association of Middle School Educators 38th Annual Conference: March 13 & 14, 2008 at Saline Middle School in Saline, Michigan!

Ohio Middle School Association:  February 21 & 22