Bozeman School District

High School Programming Committee

Summary:  Updated August 1, 2018

NOTE:  The following document is a summary of meetings and recommendations from the High School Programming Committee.  These recommendations were presented to the Board of Trustees for directional support at the August 13, 2018 meeting.

Committee Goals / Guiding Questions for the large committee

Meeting Dates and Times:

Committee Membership:  There was representation from each curriculum department, high school administration, middle school administration, central office, parents and students.  In total approximately 40 members.

Subcommittee Work & Recommendations:

Academic Program Subcommittee Goal(s) and Expectations

Recommendations:

  1. An AP program at both schools will:
  1. Build on existing success
  2. Maximize flexibility and choice for students to explore their passions and interests
  3. Be more cost effective than implementing an IB program
  4. Allow teachers to continue collaborating
  5. Provide equity and maintain continuity of programming between schools
  1. To address achievement and opportunity gaps in curricular areas and to support students at all levels, an academic support center using school, community and peer resources will exist at both schools.
  2. In order to maintain rich programming in both high schools, future decisions will be made based on the following priorities/goals:
  1. Maximizing opportunities for students
  2. Limiting student travel to extenuating circumstances
  3. Minimizing staff travel
  4. Optimal instruction occurs when teachers are physically present in the classroom delivering content at both high schools. Decisions regarding these issues will be made in consultation with the affected teachers.(Departments)
  5. Strategies may include:
  1. Leveraging technology options
  2. Flexible and/or alternative scheduling (e.g. multiple related levels in one class period), emphasizing priority scheduling to accommodate traveling staff
  3. Travel options with attempt to limit student/staff travel and being sensitive to accessibility issues

Scheduling Subcommittee Goal(s) and Expectations

Recommendations:

  1. We continue with our current schedule through the transition.  
  2. The scheduling committee has identified the following concerns with our current schedule:  (These issues will be discussed / addressed in action plan - started in the “next steps” section of this summmary.)
  1. Social-emotional needs of students (pace, homework load and absence)
  2. Collaboration time for teachers
  3. Academic support for students
  4. Zero- period (access and equity and sleep research)
  5. Study hall and free periods should be addressed
  1. Rationale and Recommendations
  1. The scheduling committee has determined the 4x4 (8 periods) Alternating block is not a solution for the transition because: Challenge of prioritizing PD for a change in teaching practice amidst many other logistical changes associated with the transition to two schools.
  2. Research shows the block schedule does not lead to improved academic  achievement.
  3. Other concerns identified with the (block) models we considered: Reduction of instructional minutes per class. Reduced teacher prep time and increase in number of classes taught (5 to 6).
  1. Other info:
  1. Transition time is defined as 2-3 years. Starting 2019-2020
  2. We looked at two more schedules for consideration that may help w/current schedule issues. More discussion is needed.
  1. Modified Block: M,T,F 1-7 periods. Wednesday has periods 1,3,5,7, Thursday has period 2, (30 min) Break or Homeroom, 4, 6, Early Release.
  2. Modified Current Schedule w/o Block: M, T, W, F has periods 1-7 (or 1-8 within a regular school day), Thursday has periods 1-3, (30 min) Homeroom added to period 3, 4-7

Graduation Requirements Subcommittee Goals(s) and Expectations

  1. BSD7 Diploma: 23 Credits
  1. Requirements same as current BHS Regular Diploma
  2. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES Diploma
  1. Must meet state minimum requirements (20+3) with built in flexibility based on student need
  2. Must remain in high school for 4 years
  3. Must have attempted to meet regular diploma requirements for the 9th and 10th grade years
  4. Referral by staff after the 10th grade year - initiating a team meeting with parents/student and requiring approval from admin
  5. Other Considerations:
  1. Language/parameters needs to be specified to clarify what type of circumstances would warrant a “Special Circumstances” exception - “a circumstance out of the student’s or family’s control that has made it difficult to meet the additional BHS diploma requirements”
  2. Should we set deadlines for referrals?
  3. Should attendance data be considered?
  4. Intended for students outside IEP/504 eligibility
  1. Diploma Endorsement: 25 Credits
  1. Meet BSD7 Regular Diploma Requirements plus 2 more credits
  2. Specific endorsement areas and criteria to be determined by special focus groups involving various departments
  3. Endorsement Types - TBD by subcommittee for incoming freshman during 2019-20 school year (by Nov. 2018)
  4. Consider STEM, CTE, Fine Arts, Merit (similar to honors), others? -  could consider further endorsements in the future.
  5. Guidelines and/or parameters for endorsements pathways?
  1. 25 credits required (students can take more credits).
  2. Maintain fairly broad course requirements rather than being too specific
  3. Consider Cumulative GPA requirement for some endorsements (Merit, STEM) - TBD and checked by beginning of 1st semester of senior year.
  4. Consider requiring one of the following or something similar (in career field): school or community service, participation in co-curricular activities/organizations/clubs, internship hours or a Capstone project

Next Steps:

  1. Present to Board of Trustees for directional support.  (August 2018)
  2. Develop an action plan for continued work, to be done by programming committee or special work groups during the 2018/19 school year.
  3. Continued work and further recommendations to be presented to Board.
  4. Policy changes (ie: graduation requirements) will require Board discussion and action.
  5. Next Steps as identified by Scheduling Subcommittee
  1. Form a BHS centered committee(s) to determine how to address the concerns: