CHS/JRMS Schedule for 2022-23

CHS/JRMS Schedule for 2022-23
Posted on 03/23/2022
CHS/JRMS Schedule InformationGood afternoon JRMS and CHS Families,

Thank you for your support and encouragement of your learners with the testing our school conducted today. Our learners were focused and the vast majority worked hard to show their full potential. The day went smoothly. We appreciate your help in making this happen!

As you may be aware, our school district's budget was defeated this year, resulting in a default budget for the next school year. At the School Board meeting on Monday, Superintendent Duncan shared an update on the financial impact of this default budget and the high inflation affecting all costs for the foreseeable future. The bottom line is that we will need to make reductions as a district to meet these financial challenges, which will include position cuts at the middle/high school.

We have approached resolving this challenge with 4 priorities in mind:
  1. Minimize disruptions to programs available to our learners.
  2. Minimize disruptions to our teachers, who have made immense progress together in support of our learners this year.
  3. Avoid class size increases / decrease class sizes in JRMS if possible.
  4. Maintain alignment in schedules between CHS and JRMS to ensure continued access to shared resources.
While we had hoped to maintain consistency for another year, after careful problem solving, reviewing of all options, and after consideration of staff shifts already in progress, the Administration proposed a shift in our scheduling model to build efficiency and meet the priorities above. Specifically, we will shifting our schedule in JRMS to an 8-period day and will transition our high school to a 4-block / semester course schedule. The School Board approved this shift at its meeting Monday, which will make the change effective for the next school year.

This shift will have a minimal impact on JRMS. Classes will remain roughly the same length, and every 2 periods in JRMS will equal 1 block at CHS, with start/end times matching. This will reduce class sizes in JRMS and build flexibility for our teachers to co-teach with similar subjects (English and Social Studies, for example), which will improve learning opportunities for our learners.

This shift will have a larger impact on CHS. This scheduling model will introduce a lot of flexibility for learners and increased overall credit opportunities. It will also require careful planning by our staff, thoughtful implementation of instructional strategies to use the longer blocks, etc. We recognize that this shift will require processing with learners and staff to make sure it happens as smoothly as possible.

I have already shared this information with our CHS learners, and we will be holding class meetings next week with each grade level in order to discuss the change and answer questions. We will keep those communications with learners going.

We have also set up a Professional Development schedule with all of our CHS teacher teams to provide resources and time for them to work on this shift. We have amazing professionals who are dedicated, knowledgeable, and interested in doing what's best for our learners. I have full confidence that each of them will make use of this PD and the planning time to ensure a smooth and successful block schedule rollout next year.

Finally, we know parents/guardians will want more information to support your children as we make this change next year. We will be producing a handout / FAQ document in the next week to share out with families. In addition, we will be setting up several family information sessions between now and the start of the next school year. These will serve as an opportunity for us to outline the shift and answer questions from our community members. We will publicize these dates in the near future, as well. 

While this budget impact was unexpected and poses a challenge, I am proud of the work we have done to turn this situation into an opportunity for growth for our school. I am confident that we will emerge next year with an even stronger model for learning that serves the needs of all learners. 

Please look for our communications with more details and the dates for our community forums in the near future.

Have a great evening,

Mr. Dustin
Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School
Conant High School
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