November 26, 2019 Message
Dear Irvington School Community,
We are writing to share updates related to our continued process around extending the review of the current schedule to allow for additional input and a clearer decision regarding the next right step for IHS.
Thus far, we have met with Student Council where Matt and I shared our draft plan, which included the possibility of creating student assemblies to gain the student insight. After discussing our shared goals, we came to a unified conclusion that rather than an assembly that would take students away from learning, we would partner with a self-identified sub-group of Student Council to create a student survey. At this point, the survey has been developed and will be available to students later this winter.
Also, all interested members of the faculty were invited to join the IHS Master Schedule Inquiry Team. The Team now includes both new members, as well as members of the previous committee, who are able to bring a depth of knowledge and experience to our process. The first meeting resulted in a plan for the The Master Schedule Inquiry Team to facilitate a protocol at an upcoming faculty meeting to review and prioritize the following areas of focus with the entire staff: Mental Health and Wellness, Professional Learning, Student Support, Student Choice, Deeper Learning/Problem-based Learning, Extracurricular Opportunities, and the importance of helping ensure that professional development and meetings take place outside of teaching periods as much as possible. The goal is to discuss with the whole staff the degree to which our current schedule supports these areas of focus, their hopes for this process, their concerns, and what they hold sacred.
The IHS Master Schedule Inquiry Team will meet again and then facilitate two public sessions on January 22, 2020 from 8-9am and 7-8pm to gain additional input from interested community members. Then, in late February, the Extended Master Schedule Inquiry Team will meet to review this information. The Team will brainstorm new ideas to further the work that will enhance our culture of excellence, which will help inform a plan for possible schedule modification options. Each community member who completed the survey and expressed an interest in serving on the Extended Master Schedule Inquiry Team was invited to participate. Student Council Representatives, as well as IMS Administration, and District-level administrators will be invited to this meeting and all subsequent meetings in the Spring. Together, we will host an additional public forum in the spring to share our progress and gather additional insight. The Extended Master Schedule Inquiry Team will consider concepts that will inform recommendations, which will be communicated to the broader school community. Using these recommendations, we intend to use the 2020-21 school year for necessary planning and professional development with the goal of implementing schedule modification for the 2021-22 school year.
We look forward to continuing to share our work throughout the balance of this school year and hope you will be able to join us for some of the public meetings.
We extend our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
Juliet & Matt