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Master Schedule Information

In 2016, the IHS faculty began a journey to analyze our master schedule and identify factors that would better support the cultural, instructional, wellness, and professional learning goals of the IHS community. As a result of our research and development regarding the master schedule over these past two years, the high school is planning to implement a new master schedule in the 2019-2020 school year that best meets these goals.

The process began with the development of a scheduling committee of 17 faculty members representative of all departments, as well as the guidance of an expert in developing educational master schedules, Dr. Michael Rettig. The work began with a comprehensive review of our current master schedule. In this process, the committee defined both the key attributes it wanted to maintain from our current structure as well as those features it felt were critical to establish in a new master schedule in order to address areas of need it had identified.

Additional steps of the schedule development process included the hosting of student and parent forums to gather feedback, interviewing and visiting schools that had implemented new master schedules that included aspects in support of the key attributes identified, and meeting extensively with the IHS faculty to explore various models that can address our goals. Through these steps, the committee became well versed in a variety of scheduling models and began to consider which of these structures highlighted our strengths as a school community and which addressed areas where we could still grow. Through this thoughtful and comprehensive process, the scheduling committee proposed a master schedule that best fit IHS.

January 10, 2019 Message
 
After considering the insightful feedback and detailed questions we have received from our community, we have decided to further refine our work and aim to implement the new Master Schedule in the 2020-2021 school year.   
 
As you likely know, the scheduling committee has already been working diligently to develop a hybrid block scheduling model, one that honors both the best of the positive learning environment we have for students at Irvington High School and makes further improvements. Our research shows that the fundamental elements of the proposed master schedule--the I/E (intervention and enrichment) period, the unit (whole school) lunch period, and the hybrid block schedule (a mix of 42 and 77-minute class periods)--are critically important aspects of achieving our goal to offer even better opportunities for our students.
 
Keeping this goal at the forefront, the Scheduling Committee is excited to build upon their good work thus far. To achieve the best possible results and ensure smooth implementation of these important changes, the high school administration will use the time between now and September 2020 to:
 
• provide our teachers with additional professional development to help them continue to learn teaching strategies that support 77-minute class periods;
• work with the entire school community to devise detailed solutions regarding seating and access to food for students during unit lunch; and
• involve teachers and students in developing the details of the I/E schedule to help maximize flexibility for students and meet as many needs as possible.
 
We look forward to seeing you at next week’s parent meetings to further our discussions. Please use this RSVP link to sign up for any of the following meetings:
 
• January 14th at 7:00 PM in the CPR - Parent Tabletop Session
• January 15th at 7:00 PM in the CPR - Parent Q&A Session
• January 16th at 2:00 PM in the CPR - Parent Tabletop Session
 
We are eager to use these opportunities to hear from you: to collect more input, to answer questions, and to share details. Additionally, I will develop a Monthly Master Schedule feature in my Weekly Blast that will provide consistent updates regarding our progress throughout the year and announce opportunities to attend future meetings and workshops. 
 
Thank you for your understanding and support during this process.

December 18, 2018 Message

Last Tuesday night, Matthew Samuelson and I hosted the Master Schedule Parent Information Night at which parents were provided with a great deal of information regarding the proposed master schedule.  In order to support the parents who were unable to attend, we recorded the meeting which can be viewed on Youtube.

Yesterday, we hosted similar student meetings with each grade in order to provide all of the IHS students with information regarding why, what and how: Why consider change? What has been the process? How do we plan to include students in the process to ensure an effective implementation?  Students had the opportunity to ask questions in each session, as well as pose additional questions and through a follow-up form.

In last Friday’s Weekly Blast, I acknowledged the need to provide ways to more deeply engage parents and students in the process.   On Tuesday, January 15th, at 7:00PM, Matt and I will host a question-and-answer session, where we will listen to your questions and concerns related to the the master schedule in an open forum.  

In addition, on Monday, January 14th, at 7:00PM, and on January 16th at 2:00PM, Matt and I will host sessions where parents will be able to work in small groups in a hands on exploration of the new master schedule. Through this exploration, parents will have the opportunity to ask specific questions and share concerns that have been raised while offering input that will help to inform our future steps.

If you did not attend Tuesday’s parent meeting and plan to attend one of these sessions, we strongly encourage you to watch the video, read the FAQ and review the proposed model in advance of the session.  In order for us to plan accordingly for each meeting, we are asking parents to complete this RSVP and indicate which meeting(s) you will attend.  After the break, we will be reaching out to those who registered to provide further details.  

Similar to providing parents with additional opportunities for engagement, Matt and I will be hosting open discussions for students in January as well.  Meetings will also be held with students who have indicated an interest in joining sub-committees pertaining to Unit Lunch, I/E and Articulation. In addition to the above referenced meetings, we will also be hosting information sessions with the IMS 8th graders in late January to share the details of the schedule and provide them with opportunities for Q&A and joining sub-committees.

We thank you for your honest feedback and look forward to the parent sessions in January to extend the dialogue.

November 2, 2018 Message