The Superintendent’s committee on Nathan Bishop met this evening. The program subcommittee present its recommendations regarding the academic program for Bishop. (Full disclosure: I’m one of the report’s authors).
The short version:
1) A neighborhood middle school (grades 6-8) that provides adequate and appropriate educational opportunities for all students in each of the following groups:
Students with special educational needs (Individual Education Plans and English Language Learners).; Students working below, at, or near grade-level; Students working beyond grade-level.
2. Open Admission:
No application process or entrance examinations.
3. Students will be placed in grade-level or above grade-level classes in each subject :
A student might be in any combination of advanced and grade-level classes (eg. Advanced Math & Spanish only).
The school would not operate a discrete advanced academic program
Placement based on grades, test scores, and teacher & advisor recommendations, as well as parent & student wishes.
4. All teachers (outside of special education specialists) prepared and qualified to teach grade-level and advanced classes.
You can download a PDF of the full report and recommendation here. It discusses the alternatives that we considered but did not adopt, and provides the rationale for the recommendation.
The full committee voted unanimously to support the recommendation. The next step is Superitendent Evans’ recommendation to the School Board. We hope he will endorse the recommendation. Your input is welcome here on the blog, via email, or at the School Board meeting. Of course, you can always give your views to Dr. Evans through his office, via email and phone.
One comment we got was “It sounds like the middle school I went to”. Exactly. There are a lot of whiz-bang options out there. Sometimes the trendy programs overlook the basics. We wanted the core academic program to provide two things: solid academics and a chance for ALL students to develop to their capacity. There is lots of room in the proposal for themes, teams, add-ons, pull-outs and whatever. As long as they don’t interfere with the core mission of the school, any combination of these might be fine. The process of determining these will continue over the coming months, assuming that the recommendation is accepted.