As a part of our Music In-Depth Program Review at Pine-Richland, we studied the student experience and number of special area sessions a child can have across the K-12 grade span. We learned that this is impacted by the assignment of classes in a Monday through Friday format at the K-3 level in particular.
For example, if you are a 1st-grade student and have music on a Monday, you would experience many more holidays and in-service disruptions to your class meeting schedule for music, thereby having you miss several more classes a year than your peers in the same grade who have music on a different day of the week. The same is true for all of the other special area classes as well at the K-3 grade span only.
We reviewed how other districts are responding to this logistical challenge, and even looked internally at our own schedules at Eden Hall. The “cycle day” schedule resolves this issue and just takes what would have been a Monday through Friday schedule and translates it to Days 1 through 5. One of the recommendations from the music in-depth program review was to begin the “cycle day” rotations to ensure that students received an equitable share of their specials spanning over the entire school year.
Since the first day of the new school year is a Thursday, we would have that be “Day 1”, followed by Friday as “Day 2”, etc… until the rotation begins again. We only count the school days and ensure that kids are then evenly rotated among the special area classes. This calendar of rotation days will match between all of Kindergarten through 6th Grade for consistency for families and shared staff members.
Our K-6 building calendars, website and student information resources will be updated to reflect these changes and to denote the “cycle day”. The entire K-6 grade span will operate on the same cycle day schedule. We want to make planning for the students’ experiences and their special area courses as simple as possible, while ensuring equitable learning opportunities for each child, regardless of schedule.