Introducing new curriculum, intervention, and instruction that will soon be mandated has made creative scheduling for high school classes to be a necessity.
In Cumberland County, the new AIR time program includes academic resources, one on one help, and enrichment opportunities. Adding the program to existing classes proved to be a challenge.
There are two types of sessions; open or closed. For closed sessions, students attend based on referrals from teachers. Closed session are for students to get help with concepts being taught in their regular classes, with an emphasis on reading and math. Other subjects are offered in closed sessions as well.
“It was hard,” Principal Jon Hall said of the scheduling necessary to carve out the time each day for the program. “But, we knew this was coming down the pipe. Central office had been talking to us about state mandates. It’s not mandated for high schools for two more years, but we felt we better get a jump on it to get the kinks worked out before it is a requirement.
The faculty is divided into four groups, mostly by department. One day each week, these teachers meet for a professional learning community and discuss the concepts being taught in class and students who may need a little help to master those concepts. They review data and prepare for the following week during this time, as well.
The classes are aligned so that each teacher is covering the same concept in the same subject at the same time. This helps in pacing the classes. It also helps when teachers are assigning students for closed sessions so that all students are on the same page.