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    2019-2020 Schedule Information
    Posted on 05/30/2019
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    It's that time of year again!  Students will be completing course preference sheets by the end of next week for scheduling next year.  To support families and students, we have created an overview document below outlining major elements of next year’s offerings.

    Social Studies: We will have changes to our social studies courses next year.  Our social studies teachers have created a letter outlining the shift that also includes information on an info session they will be offering in June to discuss the change with families.  

    Math Enrollment:  We have also updated our math enrollment policy which was significantly impacted by the school board’s recent approval of a policy related to outside high school credit attempts. You can find this information here.  Please note, if your child is currently enrolled in a high school-level math course, they will advance to the next course in sequence.  (i.e. Algebra I-->Geometry; Geometry-->Algebra II)

    PE Waivers:  PE Waivers may be applied for by specific students.  Please see the PE waiver form for more information about PE Waivers.

    6th Grade Course Preference Forms:  These were given to SPS elementary school counselors Monday 6/3 and emailed to families with email addresses on 5/31.  They can be found here: 6th Grade course preference forms.    Completed forms are due June 9th at 11:59pm.  

    7th & 8th Grade Course Preference Forms:  Course preference forms for rising 7th and 8th grade scholars were handed out Tuesday, June 4th and emailed directly to families with email addresses, also on June 4th.  Completed forms are due June 10th no later than advisory. Forms can be found here:  
    7th Grade Form
    8th Grade Form

    Principal Butler Ginolfi

    Washington Middle School 2019-2020 School Year Scheduling Overview
    v05.29.19


    Themes behind this year’s scheduling

    • A Deep Desire for Community: There is overwhelming consensus that non-core classes--including the arts, technology, and world languages--and after school activities are key opportunities for integrating students across programs to strengthen the sense of community at WMS. Our past ways of scheduling prohibited us from exposing all students to these opportunities and sometimes inadvertently increased segregation across programs.
    • “Two Schools within a School”: Board policy requires students receiving Highly Capable services to be self-contained in most core classes. For a variety of reasons beyond WMS staff’s control, the racial demographics of the students in and not in the Highly Capable program creates a segregated reality at WMS.
    • “The Middle School Moment”: Middle school is a unique time of identity formation. The middle school experience celebrates this time period by giving students a variety of opportunities to learn and grow in a wide array of areas including wellness, the arts, world languages, humanities, and STEM. Our non-core class offerings are strong, and we want all students to experience them. In order to do that and because of our enrollment being nearly half of what it was two years ago, we must build some predictability into our scheduling practice so we can maintain the staff that allow us to create Middle School Moments for all of our students.
    • We Can Do More: While we are smaller than we once were, we can expand what we offer to more students with the fewer resources that we have. This requires rethinking past practices and looking for opportunities to increase integration across programs and race and to create an environment that actualizes staff’s belief in the power of The Middle School Moment.

    Thoughts from Teachers and Staff

    “This plan feels like a creative and thoughtful solution to most of the equity issues we have around access to electives. I am looking forward to seeing how it will work in practice next year.” -Stephanie Jungblom, Art Teacher

    “What I really love about this proposed scheduling for 6th graders in particular is that it allows us the opportunity to nurture a school culture and climate foundation through our music program with new integrated ensembles that truly represent the demographic of our school. Music has a way of bringing people together, and our hope is that this new model can strengthen the entire school community.” -Jared Sessink, Music Teacher (Bands, Jazz Band Director)

    “This schedule gives access to classes where high school credits can be earned by students who may not otherwise get them. This will be super important for our students as they move forward in their academic careers.” -Devin Murphy, Assistant Principal

    “I really like the idea of 7th grade students receiving tech and art. We have amazing tech and art programs that we want to see students take advantage of, and sometimes being in music classes has previously prevented students from being involved in these other programs.” -Blake Saunders, Music Teacher (Choirs Director, Percussion Leader)

    “I love teaching middle school, with its unique strengths and challenges. The transition from elementary to middle school is challenging for all of our kids, which is why I’m so glad that we are supporting 6th graders with interventional math or general skills class. When teaching 6th grade, much of my curriculum was taken up with teaching general study and life skills, I’m so glad we are making sure that every student gets this explicit instruction. -Kate Roberts, Literacy Coach, former ELA/SS teacher

    Big Picture Details

    • 6 Period Day
    • Start/End Time will be the same. Breakfast begins at 8:30; Class spans 8:55-3:45
    • Additional Intervention Class in Math Only: The City provides a Math Empowerment curriculum and there are strong intervention materials in the district’s adopted math curriculum. All of the top, research-based, online intervention programs in both ELA and Math do not yet meet SPS’ unique ADA compliance requirements, and were banned mid-year by the district. There is no provided ELA curriculum for intervention, so Math is a better investment for us at this time. 
    • ELA intervention and support will be provided by content area teachers via Reading Apprenticeship strategies. A team of WMS teachers will attend training in Reading Apprenticeship this summer and serve as leaders in sharing these practices with their peers. 
    • Teachers will continue to teach 5 periods daily. This year all teachers are 1.0 FTE with the exception of our gifted orchestra teacher, Bryan Kolk (.4), from Garfield High School.
    • Social Studies classes will be integrated across programs at all grade-levels. (new)

    To Be Decided

    • Bell Schedule:
            ○ We will continue with 4 Minute Passing Periods and 
               2 Lunches.
            ○ Advisory, homeroom, and intervention time plans
               have not yet been finalized. Staff have considered
               one item for vote and another proposal is being
               drafted for consideration.

    Scheduling by Grade-Level

    6th Grade

    • All students will be enrolled in one period of ELA, one period of math, one period of social studies, and one period of science.
    • Students requiring special education services will be scheduled in accordance with the required services in their IEP.
    • All students will take one semester of PE and one semester of Health. There are no PE waivers in 6th grade.
    • All students who require math intervention will have at least one semester of that course. If a student does not require one of these courses, they will have a period of a Middle School Skills course. These courses will be yearlong and held on alternating days.
    • All students will take a music class and will choose from Band & Percussion, Choir, or Orchestra. These courses will be yearlong and held on alternating days.


    7th Grade

    • All students will be enrolled in one period of ELA, one period of math, one period of social studies, and one period of science.
    • Students requiring special education services will be scheduled in accordance with the required services in their IEP.
    • All students who require math intervention will have at least one semester of that course.
    • All 7th grade students will take PE unless waiving due to year-long music.
    • All 7th grade students will take a semester of Art and Technology, unless they are in yearlong music AND require an intervention.
    • Music courses are yearlong. No student will be in two, concurrent music courses. 


    8th Grade

    • All students will be enrolled in one period of ELA, one period of math, one period of social studies, and one period of science.
    • Students requiring special education services will be scheduled in accordance with the required services in their IEP.
    • All students who require math intervention will have at least one semester of that course.
    • All 8th grade students who will be on the traditional diploma track in high school will take a yearlong world language course. Successful completion of this course will lead to high school credit upon submission of appropriate paperwork to your high school. Students will test at the end of the year to see if their language proficiency exceeds that required for entrance to a second level course so students may have the opportunity to test into third or fourth level world language when they transition to high school.
    • All 8th grade students will take PE unless waiving due to year-long music OR in a required intervention course.
    • Music courses are yearlong. No student will be in two, concurrent music courses. 


    Input and Feedback Recognition: Input, Feedback, and Decision-Making took place involving a variety of stakeholders including:

    • Listening Session Participants
    • WMS Race & Equity Team (RET): Co-Chair Staff: Cheyenne Meyerson* and Elaine Harger *also a BLT rep
    • Principal’s Leadership Group: BLT Chair (Mr. Payne**), RET Chair (Ms. Harger), Special Education Department Chair (Ms. Stevens), Instructional Coaches (Ms. Miller & Ms. Roberts), Career Ladder Teachers (Ms. Lehni* and Mr. Cohrs**), and Administrators (Mr. Murphy & Mrs. Butler Ginolfi**). *also an SEA rep; **also a BLT rep
    • WMS Instructional Leadership Team: Instructional Coaches (Ms. Miller & Ms. Roberts), Career Ladder Teachers (Ms. Lehni* and Mr. Cohrs**), Special Education Department Chair (Ms. Stevens), and Administrators (Mr. Murphy & Mrs. Butler Ginolfi**). *also an SEA rep; **also a BLT rep
    • WMS Teachers with special recognition of:
           ○ Non-Core Course Teachers: Ms. Park, Mr.
              Saunders, Mr. Sessink, Mr. Kolk, Ms. Jungblom, Ms.
              Stevenson, Mr. Simcha, Ms. Krasne
           ○ Social Studies Teachers: Ms. Lehni, Ms. Meyerson,
              Mr. Castle, Ms. Becerra
           ○ Counselor, Mike Matsumoto
    • SPS District Staff with special recognition of:
           ○ Math: Anna Box
           ○ World Language: Michele Aoki
           ○ College & Career: Caleb Perkins and Terra McFarlin
           ○ MTSS & HC: Deenie Berry and Jackie Cable
           ○ ELL: Michele Ota and Malgorzata Stone
           ○ Garfield Principal, Ted Howard, for his position
              share of .4 FTE for WMS orchestra