Getting Ready to Go Back to School - Creating Student SchedulesPosted by: District 1 year, 4 months ago
We are excited to welcome back all of our students!
It’s been a busy summer preparing to launch a successful start of a new school year. In fact, many details are finalized just a few days before school starts.
It’s truly amazing to see how everything comes together as that first school bell rings on August 25th.
For families that are new to the school district or for engaged community members, we wanted to take a minute to dive into some of the details behind how schedules are formed and new updates we have at some of the sites in the district.
Releasing Teacher and Class Assignments
While for many parents and students, classes are out of sight out of mind over the summer, there is always one question that brings school back to the foreground, “Who will my teacher be?” for elementary students and, “What will my schedule hold?” for our middle school and high school students.
All schedules and teacher assignments are formally released two to three days prior to the first day of school.
Coordinating the schedules and teacher assignments at each of our sites is a very large undertaking. Obviously, the first factor is the number of students. The final number of enrolled students wavers over the summer as families move. Other key considerations we take into account include students who have additional needs, such as English as a second language. All of these, and more, play into the delicate balance of formulating schedules and assigning teachers.
It also varies by school site. Creating schedules and class assignments at the high school and middle school takes more time than the elementary. There are more classes, electives, and revolving schedules to account for.
Forming Schedules at the High School and Middle School
Counselors work with students and parents in the spring to review desired courses, interests, pathways, and course loads prior to selecting desired classes. This ensures that students have adequate time and resources to select a balanced course load that caters to their interests and academic strengths.
Students request desired electives, as well as back up electives.
Our team works to schedule all students into their desired courses. The final schedule is based on the number of teachers, number of students signed up, available time slots, and school budget. Some electives may not have the budget to accommodate the volume of students signing up.
Tentative schedules are created in the late spring and revised throughout the summer. They are finalized the week prior to school starting. Students pick up their schedules a day or two before school starts.
Forming Schedules at the Elementary
Placing students at the elementary is a collaborative effort. Each student is placed by a team comprised of last year's classroom teacher and grade level team, program specialists, and administrators. We make every effort to balance each class carefully. We focus on facilitating the learning for all students.
The team considers a variety of criteria throughout the process, including:
- Even distribution of students at various academic levels;
- Student academic, social, and emotional needs;
- Student learning styles;
- Balanced class sizes;
- Separation of certain students;
- Boy to girl ratio;
- English learners and other unique needs.
Parents are invited to fill out a “Student Information Form” to highlight specific considerations that they would like factored in during this process.
The Makings of a Successful School Year
All of this behind the scenes work is geared toward laying the foundation for a successful school year.
Schedule formation isn’t the only big task our teams take on over the summer. While school starting without a hitch may seem like magic, in reality it comes together because of the hard work of entire teams addressing everything from ordering supplies to addressing infrastructure to creating tech plans and more.
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