Sutherland for Schools blog
Well, we will have to stick it out one more year, but then there will be these plans as Dr. Scribner shared with the board this morning: He writes to the principals:
· We are already well into a planning timeline for the 2019-20 school year. The Master Scheduling Process began back in January. Students have already selected courses and schedules are already established. Our school calendar and “start & end” times have also already been established. A shift to a block schedule at this late date would impact both of these.
· Budgets are already allocated to campuses for next year and you are in the process of assigning those dollars based on student course selection.
· We are four months away from the start of school, and a change to a block schedule requires more detailed planning.
I heard your concerns and will support your collective voice that the answer to changing schedules is not “No” – rather, it is “Not yet.”
Starting now, we are making plans to develop and implement a revised schedule in 2020-21.
Here is what I heard you say that we will collectively address in those plans:
· We will design and deliver additional training for teachers to effectively teach in a 90-minute instructional block.
· We will adjust the curriculum to provide teachers with plans for 90-minutes of instruction.
· We will evaluate the impact of block scheduling on specialized programs (Athletics, Fine Arts, CTE) and will work out a plan to ensure these programs are not short-changed.
Additionally, I will direct our Leadership Team to facilitate a high school bell schedule committee and a separate middle school bell schedule committee.
Here is the bottom line – the most important part of this letter. With the agreed-upon year of planning comes high expectations:
· It is your responsibility to work out a plan to effectively implement the schedule changes in 2020-21 for your individual campuses.
· The plan should include a consistent message for our teachers, students, and students’ families.
· It is also your responsibility to tell us what resources we need to provide you in the planning period leading up to the implementation year.
Tonight's meeting includes a presentation titled "Instructional Planning and Development Update". I'm hoping there will be a change in the 8-period day.
School Enrollment Total cost Cost per student (site only)
Anne Darr, running for District 6, wants to know your views on major current issues. She will publish the results. Here is the link:
Readers will remember my earlier post on the national story that our STAAR tessts are not normed on national standards. To the extent they actually measure the level, the norms are TWO YEARS above a given student's grade level. The AFT reports on a hearing last week:
The earlier comment re spending on the Palazzolo case is mis-directed. The ORR requestor asked for all expenditures from the Brandt firm, but did not single out requests on this old lawsuit. Any payments to Brandt's firm were for other purposes.
Trustee Ashley Paz's rude interruption of my comment clarifying that schools of choice spend twice as much money per child as children at traditional sites is a drop in the budget compared to Dr. Scribner's refusal to answer legitimate and very significant questions about our budgeting.
Mrs. Darr will be having a fundraiser but the date is not yet set. Meanwhile, readers can make a contribution at the following portals:
(but first, let me remind readers that Dr. Scribner refuses to allow a vote even though this is clearly a policy matter, which, by law, is the board's responsibility.)
I'd hoped for a strong candidate to take over my seat on the FWISD board when the time came for me to retire and I am thrilled to have Anne Darr step up to the plate. She's a former elementary teacher and now special ed consultant for Region 11. She's a real Texan whose kids who have gone through our schools--one still at Paschal and another at TCU. She was even a Teacher of the Year!
The draft agenda for Feb. 25th does not include a vote on the 8-period day. Also the district has refused to provide a copy of the organization chart or the grade-equivalents as I requested.
I have asked Dr. Scribner and President Jackson to place a vote on discontinuing the 8-period day on the agenda.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress says Fort Worth 8th grade readers are significantly behind other large urban districts.
I don't think I've ever give a shout-out to a single school but I will now.