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Pickerington Schools reveal adjustments in scheduling
Changes to the school schedule at Pickerington Local Schools will bring new adjustments for students at all grade levels.
Not only will families be adjusting to new start and end times, program changes are also being introduced for the 2011-2012 school year.
During the Feb. 14 board meeting, administrators introduced programming changes due to budget reductions.
The changes to the school day hours will allow for “unfragmented classroom time,” said Sharon Caccimelio, principal at Sycamore Creek Elementary.
Caccimelio said it is recommended that students have no less than 90 minutes for classes in language arts, reading and math, which will be allowed with the new schedule.
The district restructuring plan will create a new learning environment for students to learn art, music and wellness while in the classroom, she said.
Global Integration teams of four or five teachers will collaborate, plan, deliver and facilitate learning with teams of classroom teachers. Media centers, gymnasiums, and music and art rooms will be transformed into Global Learning Hub work spaces where students create, produce and demonstrate outcomes of their integrated learning experiences.
“There will be five teams going to 10 buildings,” said Jeanette Henson, principal of Tussing Elementary School. “They will rotate based on the needs of the building with the students determining the outcomes.”
District Lead Instructional Adviser Kim Halley says teamwork will be necessary.
“The integration team will always act as a team,” she said.
With reductions in the teaching staff, the high school teachers will teach six classes rather than four, with the biggest changes coming in science.
Zack Howard, principal of Pickerington High School Central, said the schools will offer a freshman Integrated Science course rather than the separate physical and Earth science currently offered.
Rather than semester classes, students will take full year classes in biology and chemistry as well, he said.
“These can be bumped up a year if students take an integrated science class in grade 8, allowing them to advance in the science classes through high school,” Howard said.
The registration process will remain primarily the same with students at the junior high schools meeting with counselors on March 2. Course registration forms will be available for parents online by March 7 with complete registration expected by March 11.
Additional changes will come to the music programs at the junior high and high school levels. The new model for scheduling will allow for a team of educators to work in collaboration and the bands and choir to rehearse together without interruptions in their normal schedules.
The district plans to provide a podcast on the district website, as well as direct communication with parents, to help explain the changes and make the transitions smoother.
“It’s very important as we progress to be talking to our parents,” Superintendent Karen Mantia said.
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