Friday, January 8, 2010

What's new at Taylor?

With spring just around the corner, a not-so-young man’s fancy turns
to thoughts of master schedules, educational plans for student
success, and soccer.

Master Schedule Changes Proposed by APS: Superintendent Brooks
convened a study group in September to look at the feasibility of
having a single master schedule for all APS middle schools. The two
schedules under consideration are a six-period day and a five-period
day. The six-period day would feature:
• Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and one
elective every day of the week for 60 minutes.
• The sixth class would be known as META (maintenance-enrichment-
tutorial-advisory) and would last 45 minutes.
The five-period day would feature:
• Math and language arts every day of the week for 75 min.
• Science and social studies every other day for 75 minutes.
• Two electives every other day for 75 minutes.
• META every day for 45 minutes.
A selection is expected by the Superintendent’s Office in February.

EPSS: The Instructional Council reviewed the CLASS survey results
from parents, students, and staff. They distilled the following keys:
Parents indicated Taylor’s strengths were: (1) respectful relationships
with parents, (2) stresses importance of student achievement, and (3)
students are treated with equity and fairness. The main opportunity
for improvement was providing timely feedback to parents regarding
a child’s progress. Student surveys indicate the following strengths:
(1) students appreciate how teachers allow different ways to
demonstrate proficiency, (2) Spanish speaking students feel positive
about their relationships with teachers, (3) disciplinary rules are in
place and are stressed, and (4) students feel they are treated
respectfully and fairly. They said opportunities for improvement
were: (1) teachers could do a better job of helping all students
including ELL and special education students to learn, and (2) reteach
content to students who do poorly on tests. Staff members
indicated that they taught Taylor’s strengths were: (1) classroom
based practices, (2) quality of curriculum, (3) content knowledge, and
(4) opportunities to demonstrate proficiency. Areas for improvement
included the need for grade and department level collaboration and
training in continuous classroom improvement practices.

Soccer: Due to popular demand, we will be starting boys’ and girls’
soccer teams this spring. We are finalizing who will coach and the
schedules. We realize we have some extremely talented soccer
players among our students and we want to give them an
opportunity to showcase their talents against other middle schools.
We will be having an after-school meeting in the near future to share
information with students and parents.

That’s it for this week. Next week I will be sharing information about
the projects at Taylor to be funded by the bond. Stay tuned! ;o)

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