North has started to explore flex mod scheduling. This page will contain meeting minutes, questions, and information related to the process.
An Introduction to Flex Mod Scheduling (youtube) posted 11/8/12
Prezi presented at August 27, 2012 North staff meeting
Flex Mod School Board Presentation August 2012
The Sheboygan School Board is weighing the possibility of implementing a flexible schedule in the high schools.
Mark Holzman, assistant superintendent of student and instructional services, explained the system to the School Board’s curriculum and instruction committee Tuesday night.
A flexible schedule, which is already being done in roughly 5 percent of school districts in Wisconsin, changes class periods into 20- or 30-minute “mods” and allows schools to create classes for large, medium and small groups depending on need, Holzman said.
A flexible schedule solves two problems that are occurring in high schools: a lack of time for teachers to collaborate, and the lack of a system to address struggling students before they begin to fail.
“We can look at ourselves and say our structure does not provide an opportunity for intervention for kids unless you have an exceptional need,” Holzman said. “There’s no formal system until you get D’s or F’s to support you so we’re trying to provide that prior to D’s or F’s.”
That’s not the case in the lower grades, however. In elementary and middle schools there is time built into the schedule for teachers to work together to plan courses for students, he said, and also for interventions for students who need a boost.
“At the high school level, we really struggled trying to do that,” Holzman said.
The flexible schedule, which would not be implemented before the 2013-14 school year and might even take longer, resembles a college schedule because it includes large lecture classes that would combine, for example, several science or English classes together for large group instruction, as well as regular class sizes and small groups.
“It’s similar to a college-structured program, yet (not all) of our students learn well in large groups,” said board member Barb Tuszynski said. “If both high schools are moving toward this, I’m just wondering how parents are going to react to these options. I feel as if, in a large setting, students already can get lost.”
Both Tuszynski and board member Mark Mancl questioned whether the high schools can even accommodate groups as large as 200 students, and Holzman said that right now that is a problem to be solved.
“We don’t have ideal space, that’s something you’ll be hearing,” Holzman said. “Right now, what I heard from both principals is they’re very passionate about it and what we have physically is not ideal but the pros so far outweigh the cons ... that they’re willing to give it a shot in any different way.”
The full board will talk about it again Aug. 27, when principals Mike Trimberger from South and Jason Bull from North will be on hand to share their views.
—Reach Janet Ortegon at 920-453-5121.
ALTERNATE SCHEDULING MODELS - Below you will find random comments and summary statements stemming from the North High School exploration of alternate scheduling models, homerooms and mid-terms. I do not foresee another communiqué from the bullpen now through June.
1. Thank you for all that have offered questions, insights and time during this exploration.
2. North High School is a great school and place.
3. Forging and maintaining positive relationships with all students AND providing highly engaging rigorous curriculum is at the foundation of what makes North a great school and place.
4. Thank you Amy, Lee, Nick and Jay for your leadership.
5. One of the key components of what makes North a special place is critical inquiry.
6. There is a fine line between critical inquiry and negativity.
7. Critical inquiry can be a driving force behind the reflection needed to commit to always doing things differently and better.
8. Negativity breeds more negativity.
9. Members of the Site Based Management Team have been kept in all loops regarding this exploration and have been invited to all information and input sessions.
10. There will be no more large group information and input sessions scheduled this school year.
11. There may be sub group meetings held by team leaders. Dates, times and agendas for these meetings will be communicated via the weekly bulletin.
12. I have asked each team leader to be prepared and in a position to make final recommendations in the best interest of staff and students to me by mid-August.
13. No decisions have been made yet.
14. From the recommendations of team leaders I will make all final decisions.
15. All decisions that will directly impact the staff and students of North will be communicated during pre-session with follow-up informational sharing planned for Site Based Management Team, Department Chair and all stakeholder meetings.
16. The finer details of any/all implementation needs will be worked through September 2012 - May 2013.
17. Any changes to the schedule will infuse more time for adult collaboration AND student intervention within the school day.
18. Mid-terms is a timeframe between semesters for enrichment, interventions, and planning and has officially been taken out of the exploration.
19. Team leaders will continue to provide opportunities for input now through August.
20. There is an opportunity for North to become a greater school and place.
21. Homerooms may be the most logical and natural place for portfolios to be implemented school wide.
22. Any implementation plans must and will include staff, student and parent development.
23. Department Chairs have been kept in all loops regarding this exploration and have been invited to all informational and input sessions.
24. If no changes occur to the schedule the discussions and collaboration have been fruitful and worthwhile.
25. The success of any schedule changes will be measured by multiple data sets including, but not limited to increases in opportunities for the staff to collaborate, school-wide and sustainable interventions being implemented for all students, increases in ACT and WKCE scores, students leaving North better prepared for whatever is next, and increases in student and staff engagement.
26. Change is difficult.
27. The time is now for your insights, critical inquiry, and suggestions.
28. Your input is valued and important to the exploration.
29. Thank you for your time, reflection and willingness to consider the possibilities.
30. Notes, minutes and other information related to the exploration can be found on the North web page: A)What's new at North; then B) Flex mod exploration.
31. Although the journey may be tough and anxiety provoking, the destination will be in the best interest of students AND staff.