Model Review

Preparing for the Transition in Fall 2017

K-12 Music and Arts Review

Music and Arts Model Review for the Fall 2017 Transition and Beyond

BACKGROUND

The Tahoma School District started a multi-year process that culminated in re-examining our models for daily schedule and options for students at elementary, middle and high school as we look to the transition our system will experience in Fall 2017. As we bring the new high school on-line our system will experience change at every grade level. We will transition from four elementary buildings to six, with the current Cedar River Middle School and Tahoma Middle School becoming elementary schools. Our two middle schools will move location to the current Tahoma Junior and Senior High Schools, and add the eighth grade to become 6-8 middle schools. Our new high school will include grades 9-12. We estimate that more than 70 percent of staff and students will make a physical move of schools in fall 2017. While this creates quite a logistical challenge to stage physical moves of this magnitude, it is providing us an opportunity to re-examine our programs and structures for students at each level in the system.

Overall school and delivery models have been identified at elementary, middle and high schools including a beliefs document and evaluation criteria at each level. These documents and others are intended to guide inpidual program choices as we work toward the transition in fall 2017. Music and arts has been and will continue to be a core part of our Tahoma program. While many school systems have cut music and arts this has been a program area we have held on to at all levels. With the model reviews and reconfiguration of our schools, this provides the perfect opportunity to step back and evaluate where we are at in our music and arts program. Ensuring we have a well-articulated program that ps the grade levels, meets the needs of our students, and is influenced by feedback and input from parents, students, and our community.

PROBLEM

While there is no specific “problem” we are trying to solve there are a number of questions that we want to answer with input from our many stakeholders as we make program recommendations for the music and arts program across all grade levels. Some of these include:

  • What are the essential experiences we want for our students?
  • What are the demands placed on our students in our programs? Is this too light, too heavy, or just about right?
  • What is the balance we want between music and arts at elementary? (currently music is the primary focus K-5)
  • When do we start an instrumental music program in Tahoma? (currently 5th grade zero hour band)
  • When do we start a vocal program at elementary? (currently zero hour honor choir)
  • How do things change at both the middle and high school level with the new models?
  • What are we investing currently in the music and arts program and what are the resource implications for any proposed changes?

Overview of Timeline and Activities

Model Meetings

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Board Recommendations

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Model Review Team Composition

This ad hoc committee will be established to identify a program model for K-12 music and arts aligned to our Future Ready vision. Representatives from the following groups will be invited to participate in this work:

  • School board member(s)
  • Building Administrators
  • Content area teacher representation (elementary, middle and high school in both music and arts)
  • Counselors (elementary, middle, and high school)
  • Parents (all levels)
  • Students (middle and high school)
  • Teaching and Learning

Model Review Givens

  • At elementary, the model review recommendations included moving toward meeting the requirement of 100 minutes of Health and Fitness weekly. Shifting from an even split of specialist time at elementary to 3 days a week of Health and Fitness and 2 days a week of music/arts supports more closely meets that requirement than current practice.
  • Exploratory options are emphasized at elementary and early middle school transitioning to more specialized skill development and career focus at secondary.
  • Alignment of programs of study with post-secondary opportunities for dual crediting through articulations with partner institutions when possible.
  • At secondary ensure students acquire core skills identified from the research on 21st century skills and competitive work skills, targeting development of Tahoma Future Ready Skills.

Board Parameters

  • Design recommendations must align with the Tahoma model work at each level.
  • Program and design recommendations align with the WA State Music and Arts Standards and provide a balance between music and arts.
  • Expectations must be realistic and allow for implementation of the full academic and elective program for Tahoma students.
  • Equity of program options for students across all schools at each level.
  • Elementary is exploratory, secondary is exploratory and skill building à career preparatory

Posted by D. Wakeley on Nov 23, 16 0 comments View


Elementary Model Team Determines Recommendations for School Board

The elementary model team has completed their work to include guidance on the elementary schedule. The team met over many meetings examing key components of the model that have direct impact on the elementary daily schedule. These include interventions, special services for students including special education and ELL, specialist time and teacher planning time. The team developed seven different options for intervention alone and engaged in lengthy discussions of pros and cons of each option.

Diagram showing progression of work for the elementary schedule

Principals and teacher leaders will be updating building staff on the recommendations going to the school board on March 22, 2016. Recommendations will include:

In extensive conversation at the subcommittee level and with the larger group, the team expressed the desire to prioritize the move to operationalize a systemmic pull-out math intervention as a short term multi-year strategy with continued research and work to prototype a variety of push-in options. The 30 minute protected block will allow new grouping strategies between grade level teachers to support learners.

We are excited about the work that the model review team has completed. This is just the first step as there are many more decisions to make as we actually work to operationalize the components of the model. The schedule is only one of those. Subcommittee members had the opportunity to sign up to work on additional committees including:

  • Interventions
  • 30 minute protected block differentiation
  • Special Education
  • Staff Collaboration
  • Specialists
  • Teaming
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Parent Involvement
  • Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
  • Student Leadership
attributes of intervention

Parents or other interested staff are encouraged to let us know if you are interested in participating on work teams that will be taking up each of these model components in the future. Sign up here! As work teams form we will communicate out to ensure staff know about opportunities for involvement.

Posted by D. Wakeley on Mar 7, 16 0 comments View

Elementary Model Team - Making Great Progress

The elementary model team has been meeting over many months and by December had made great progress with products ready for school board review including the Elementary Beliefs and Evaluation Plan. This is a companion document to the middle level and high school level belief documents. These guide the work and will help building teams and the district to ensure additional work is aligned to the vision we are trying to create and that we have thought through how we will monitor and evaluate progress toward that vision.

Elementary Model Beliefs Diagram

After the December meeting we determined that there was still one part of the work of the large team that felt incomplete, the elementary day schedule. Volunteers from our large team rolled up their sleeves once again to go work on this part of the model. The subcommittee has put in much time and thinking around the components that primarily influence the daily schedule. These include interventions, specialist programs for special education and ELL, teacher planning and specialist time, and recess. The subcommittee is ready to bring their work to the large group next Thursday to create a recommended model for the elementary schedule. At this time we anticipate a recommendation being ready for the school board by April or May.

We will provide an update after our large model group Elementary Model meeting on Wednesday, March 3, 2016.

Posted by D. Wakeley on Feb 24, 16 0 comments View


Elementary Model Review Begins!

picture

Our Elementary Model Review work began on May 27th. The work team includes teachers, parents, coaches, and administrators from across the system. They will be meeting over the next six months in a series of 4 large group meetings and at least 4 subcommittee meetings to design elementary level guiding beliefs, key components for the Tahoma elementary model, and an evaluation plan. An elementary model recommendation will go to the school board in January, 2016. We realize we have a unique opportunity as we transition from four to six elementary schools in Tahoma to ensure our elementary model aligns with research on effective schools and our Tahoma vision for quality learning and teaching.

One of the activities in the first meeting involved readings to help inform the prompt: Students experience success when…

Culture of Achievement - Expeditionary Learning

A Habitat for 21st Century Learning

ASCD - Whole Child Initiative

ASCD Whole Child - Making the Case

Breaking Ranks Executive Summary

Leadership - Ed Leadership 2015

Leading and Learning with Habits of Mind

Nine Characteristics of Effective Schools

Best Practices in Elementary STEM

This first meeting concluded by identifying some of the key "talking points" that team members might want to share with their colleagues and would make visible through our system-wide updates. When capturing the purpose of the elementary model review the team identified the following:

  • developing elementary beliefs that support our Tahoma vision
  • articulating our shared vision for all 6 of our elementary schools as we look to the future
  • create a foundation for the elementary model
  • importance of opportunities being equitable for all our students across all 6 of our elementary schools
  • the key role that the elementary experiences for our students have in their future success
  • examining what is needed for students to be both Kindergarten ready and Middle School ready
  • importance of examining evidence and research to form our basis of core beliefs

Team members noted that the work and conversation in this first meeting was very student centered and their appreciation of the perspective brought by a variety of different voices imagining our future and what can be for our 6 elementary schools. We are so appreciative of the team members in giving of their time and expertise as we navigate the next steps in the Tahoma journey.

Posted by D. Wakeley on May 27, 15 0 comments View


6-8 Model Review - Schedule for Recommendation Determined

The 6-8 model review team has identified a schedule they are recommending to the school board

6-8 MS Cover Slide Model Review Process

The 6-8 model review team is recommending a new schedule that maximizes flexibility for learning and allows for smooth transitions from grade 5 and to grade 9. A team of more than 25 staff, students, and parents have spent over 4 months researching and designing a middle school model that they believe will best meet student needs into the future. The vison for the system has been a key driver for the change; "All students to have the knowledge, skills and experiences to create a viable, valued path to lifelong personal success." Important to our team was their place in the middle: "We want students to have a smooth transition from elementary and be well prepared for high school success". The team came to the realization early on that what whatever model they recommended would need to allow for differences across 6th and 8th grades, yet also allow for cross grade opportunities.

Tahoma MS Model Beliefs

One of the first products the team created was a beliefs document, which guided all the subsequent conversations and work. Superintendent Rob Morrow shared with the team in the beginning of the process a quote from Walt Disney, "If our values are clear, decisions are easy." The team engaged in over 750 person-hours of time in review of research, design, identifying and evaluating pros and cons, and final development of the recommendation going to the Tahoma Board of Directors and the system. The level of conversation, inquiry, and open sharing between members of the team was a wonderful example of the deep commitment to skillfull communication and collaborative decision making we have done in the system over many years.

A small subcommittee from the large team will be working in April on the evaluation criteria for the model. In all the of the model review work, the teams are designing structures to support the new outcomes we want for students. Identifying the measures to monitor and evaluate if we are getting to those student outcomes is critical. If not, we need to be able to tweak and redesign as necessary. In May, the MS beliefs, recommended schedule and evaluation criteria will all go to the school board.

Team members have been encouraged to share updates with colleagues back at the buildings throughout the model review process. Team facilitators including principals Andy McGrath and Sean Cassidy and district administrators, Rob Morrow and Dawn Wakeley will be going out to both middle schools and the junior high on April 3rd to share the process and answer any questions about the recommended schedule with interested staff.

sample student schedule being recommended

sample student schedule being recommended

Posted by D. Wakeley on Mar 31, 15 0 comments View


9-12 Model Review Recommendation

Picture of graduates with district vision

The 9-12 model review team is recommending a new schedule allowing students to take 8 classes each semester in Fall 2017 as the new high school comes on-line. A team of more than 35 staff, students, parents, and community members have spent the last 4 months researching and designing a high school model that will best meet student needs into the future. The vison for the system has been a key driver for the change; "All students to have the knowledge, skills and experiences to create a viable, valued path to lifelong personal success".

To realize this vision the team identified a need for students to have more opportunities to explore areas of interest through additional course offerings. Many students have multiple classes they'd like to take but are limited by what will fit into the current schedule. New graduation requirements from the State Board of Education will put even more limits on options for students and the team identified a need to prioritize additional options for students in the model design.

The team spent considerable time discussing the pros and cons of many different models, including the current 6 period block, a flexible modular schedule, year long classes in a semester block, a trimester schedule, and both a 7 and 8 period block and hybrid schedules. After extensive discussion the team decided to more thoroughly explore the 7 and 8 period options, both block and hybrid. A block schedule involves longer periods with only half the classes meeting every other day. The current schedule at the high school is a 6 period rotating block. A hybrid schedule has some days where students go to all classes in a traditional shorter period schedule and some days where half the classes meet for a more extended time block. The team finally narrowed options down to the 8 period schedule, both hybrid and block. After extensive discussion where ideas were thoroughly explored for both the block and hybrid the team reached consensus on a recommendation for the 8 period block schedule. Superintendent Rob Morrow praised the team for their skillful discussion and ability to deeply inquire into the thinking of different members of the team. This was a celebration of our commitment to consensus decision making and a process that allowed that to happen.

Process the model review team went through to come to a board recommendation.

After determining the preferred model for recommendation, the team also identified data elements that could be monitored over time to understand if the new model is supporting realization of our vision for students. This will form the foundation for an on-going evaluation plan for the delivery model at the new high school and become part of the district accountability report. Once the School Board makes a decision about the recommendation, the process will begin to focus on how to operationalize that at the building level.

At the systems level, the model review for the middle level continues with the second meeting of the 6-8 model review team on January 22, 2015 with another team of approximately 35 staff, students, parents, and community members.

There are many additional decisions to make as we work toward the Fall 2017 transition in the system. An implication from the 8 period recommendation will be reconsideration of the total number of credits required for graduation. After the board takes action, it is anticipated they will ask for an ad hoc graduation requirements committee to convene in Spring 2015. It is an exciting time in the Tahoma School system as we step back to review programs to ensure we take best advantage of new opportunities with the reconfiguration and new facilities that make new program options possible.

Posted by D. Wakeley on Jan 18, 15 0 comments View


6-8 Model Review Update - Guilding Beliefs Finalized

The middle level model review team has identified the core beliefs that will drive the middle level decision making as the team reviews potential delivery models and makes a recommendation to the school board.

MS Model Beliefs

The team is now exploring a variety of schedule options for middle level. Priorities that must be allowed for in a new schedule include time for deep learning, time for intervention and enrichment and time for students to explore their interests as we work toward our Future Ready vision for all students. A subgroup will bring at least two potential options back to the large group for consideration at the next meeting on March 26, 2015. A final recommendation is anticipated for the school board in April.

Posted by D. Wakeley on Feb 28, 15 0 comments View

Staff Input - Fall 2017 Reconfiguration

In 2017 Tahoma School District will be going through a major reconfiguration of schools. The tentative plan at the current Tahoma High School, the current Cedar River Middle School and the current Tahoma Middle School is to move all staff members to their new locations in the summer of 2017. Staff at the current Tahoma High School will move to the new high school site; Cedar River Middle School staff will move to the current high school site and Tahoma Middle School staff will move to the current junior high site.

The plan for staff members at grades K-5 and 8-9 is still in development. We would like to invite you to participate in a survey designed to gather input from staff into the process for K-5 and 8-9 staff. Please select the link below appropriate to your role in the system. All staff are welcome to participate. The first questions allow us to disaggregate the survey data by grade level and building. Responses are anonymous.

Link to Survey for Certificated Staff: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2017ReconfigCert

Link to Survey for Classified Staff: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2017ReconfigClass

Posted by D. Wakeley on Feb 19, 15 0 comments View

Model Review Update to TJHS and TSHS

Model Review - Looking toward 2017 transition On Friday, December 19 Superintendent Rob Morrow and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dawn Wakeley provided an update to both the junior and senior high staff on progress being made in the 9-12 model review.

There are over 35 members of the 9-12 model review team, including adminstrators, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, and community partners. To date, over 500 volunteer hours have been put in by the team as they draft new structures to support the Future Ready vision of the school system. Most will be implemented when the new high school opens in Fall 2017.

The team has determined that a change in schedule will be needed to support student elective choices and our Future Ready vision, especially in light of new graduation requirements from the state (CORE 24). The large group narrowed the options to a 7 or 8 period block or hybrid (blend between a rotating block and a more traditional all periods in one day) schedule. The large group identified a lengthy list of questions, implications, and possibilities; a smaller subcommittee will begin to explore the group's ideas and report back at the next large group meeting on January 14.

Morrow and Wakeley shared some of the complexities of the decision making ahead and gave examples of decisions that will be made at the system level based on recommendations from the model team and decisions that will be made at the building level. Building level decisions will likely happen in the 2016-17 school year as the new high school staff comes together for planning and work in the year prior to the transition. This is complex work and some of the decisions being made around schedule are intended to complement and allow additional flexibility with emerging partnerships with business and higher education to expand options for students. In addition, decisions from the 9-12 model may impact the 6-8 model review with resulting implications for the K-5 model. We are in the first year of a comprehensive 3-year plan with program and curriculum work timed to allow for thoughtful participation from stakeholders, keeping in mind the many interconnections and dependencies as we work toward realizing our Future Ready Vision.

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system and building level decisions

Posted by D. Wakeley on Dec 29, 14 0 comments View


6-12 Model Review

Model Review The Tahoma School District has begun a year-long process that will culminate in re-examing the model for daily schedule and options for students at elementary, middle and high school as we look to the transition our system will experience in Fall 2017. As we bring the new high school on-line our system will experience change at every grade level. We will transition from four elementaries to six, with the current Cedar River Middle School and Tahoma Middle School becoming elementary schools. Our two middle schools will move location to the current Tahoma Junior and Senior High Schools, and add the eighth grade to become 6-8 middle schools. Our new high school will include grades 9-12. We estimate that more than 70 percent of staff and students will make a physical move of schools in fall 2017. While this creates quite a logistical challenge to stage physical moves of this magnitude, it is providing us an opportunity to re-examine our programs and structures for students at the secondary level.

The first meeting included all members from both the 6-8 review team as well as the 9-12 review team. Superintendent Rob Morrow provided an overview of the Future Ready vision for the school system. The team heard from a number of presenters regarding the complexities facing our students, a significant one being the change to 24 required credits for high school graduation. A student panel discussion then helped meeting participants get insight into the school day from the student perspective. An overview of the timeline and meeting process is shown visually below. The 9-12 work was intentionally identified to begin first as there will be implications from the design model at the high school level that will influence design choices the teams make at middle level and then at elementary. As a system we are united in our vision for ensuring all our students graduate Future Ready.

Timeline for Process Model Design Process

The first meeting included a tour of the high school facility for our middle level team. Staff and parents were excited by the options that will become open as they move to two facilities designed to support the broad array of opportunities found in a comprehensive high school. The conversation and thinking was sparkling as the team imagined the possibilities that are going to open up for them. From Career and Technical Education spaces that will support new programs to a large student commons with the potential to allow for just one lunch. Staff at the high school were treated to views of new architect renderings of many of the key spaces being designed for the new high school.

Beliefs that will guide the model design for 9-12

The team then split into a 6-8 team and a 9-12 team to focus on some readings and team conversation. The outcome of this part of the process was to articulate the foundational beliefs aligned to our Future Ready vision that will guide the development of the 6-8 model and the 9-12 model. A small subcommitte then took the work of the large committee and drafted belief statements to go back to the team at the second meeting.

On Monday, November 17th the 9-12 team came together for their second meeting. Business and higher education partners joined the team for this meeting to provide additional insights into our emerging vision of the Future Ready opportunities we want for our students. The team then began to work on identifing different components of a model and based on our beliefs began to provide specific guidance on the form that model component might take that would support our beliefs and vision. A subcommitte will then take this work and begin to create draft models that will come back to the large group in meeting 3.

Posted by D. Wakeley on Jan 26, 15 0 comments View

Model Review and Other Leadership Opportunities

Leadership Opportunities - 6-12 Model Review, Summits, More...

There are a number of work groups that will be beginning in the next couple of months where we want representation from staff across buildings, multiple grade levels, and content areas. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the following please click into the link to let us know you’d like to be considered for committee membership.

  • Grade 6-8 and 9-12 model review - recommending a schedule and other components of the instructional day to help us achieve our Future Ready aspirations as we transition in Fall 2017 to the new secondary building configurations. Evening committee (4:00 pm-8:00 pm) with parents, students, staff, and community.
  • Wellness Committee - recommending district wellness policy updates to comply with state legislation. Evening committee (5:00 pm - 8:00 pm) with parents, students, staff, and community.
  • Elementary Integrated Unit Refresh - review of materials and resources to rewrite the elementary integrated units K-5, embedding the Future Ready skills and aligning to state and district standards. Majority of work will happen through sub release time.
  • Secondary Social Studies - content area summit to review course sequence 6-12 to meet graduation (CORE 24) requirements and Future Ready needs of students, ensuring content and skill alignment to both Social Studies and Common Core standards; team will review resources for updated curriculum. Majority of work will happen during the work day through sub release time.
  • Health and Fitness Summit - content area summit to review Health and Fitness K-12 and the Future Ready needs of students with specific focus on the course sequence 6-12 to support the CORE 24 requirements. Majority of work will happen during the work day through sub release time.
  • Future Ready Skills - small team work to develop and test rubrics and measures for the Future Ready Skills. Looking for teachers at a variety of grade levels and content areas who want to work with T&L staff to prototype some new ideas with their students to inform design and development of new tools that will then be used across the system.
Posted by D. Wakeley on Jan 26, 15 0 comments View
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