Middle School Schedule Change Update


In May 2022, District administration kicked off the beginning stages of changing the middle school schedule. The reason for the schedule change is to develop a consistent schedule across both middle schools, simplify the schedule for families and staff, and ensure we are meeting the new state standards for media arts and fine arts.

What does a schedule change mean?  

School hours will not change, and the current grade configuration for the middle schools will not change.

The Process So Far

Seeking Feedback

The process began with seeking feedback from current middle school staff, students, and families. The information from those surveys was used by the Middle School Design Team (made up of middle school administrators and staff, along with district administrators who act as information resources and liaisons to the school board) to create multiple schedule options.

Creating a Framework

Our Middle School Design Team developed different schedule options and presented them to the community. The goals of the feedback sessions were to hear from the community and get their ideas before refining the options and sending them to the District administrators, who brought a recommended option to the School Board for a decision in June 2023.

The School Board approved the following framework at the June 2023 meeting:

  • Six-period day with four lunches
  • Included homeroom and flex periods
  • 50-minute class periods
  • A/B (every other day) elective schedules for grades 5-8
  • Three-minute passing time

We believed this framework works best because it offers one schedule building-wide, allows staff to serve multiple grade levels, has a common rotation (every grade level is on a two-day rotation), and has flex time.

Adjusting Original Framework

The initial board-approved schedule framework included both homeroom and flex periods. It was determined that two separate periods for homeroom and flex within the confines of a 6 period day don’t comply with the teacher contract. So, in collaboration with the middle school administration, district staff, the Middle School Design Team, and the negotiations team, we proposed an amendment to the June 2023 approved framework that was presented to the school board on Monday, December 11, which will comply with language in the contract. The school board approved the amendment to the framework.

The framework moving forward includes:

  • Six-period day with four lunches
  • A flex period
  • 52-minute class periods
  • Period 1 is 10 minutes longer to allow for non-instructional activities at the beginning of the day
  • A/B (every other day) elective schedules for grades 5-8
  • Three-minute passing time
What is flex time?

Flex time is a 30-minute period of time that will occur around the lunch hour. The district has designed guidelines for the middle schools to design flex. District middle schools are working on their individual plans for flex this winter and spring.  

  • For Grade 5, those guidelines include offering unstructured movement breaks as many days of the week as possible, providing students with recess-like options (which include the option to go outside or stay inside), giving students the option for academic things (like reading and practicing), and not requiring teacher prep.
  • For Grades 6-8, those guidelines include a minimum of 2 days a week of academic support, a goal of student choice sometime during the school year, and cannot require teacher prep.

Refining the Framework

At the January 22 board meeting, the administration provided an update that included the core content requirements, the approach to the fine arts requirements, elective opportunities and the parameters for flex. 

Next steps

Implementation planning is still underway. Registration for 2024-2025 is taking place in the month of February. Families should be watching for communication from their child's school. The middle school administrative teams are drafting plans for flex with input from their site.


Cari Jo Drewitz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Miles Lawson, Secondary Curriculum and Gifted and Talented Coordinator

Karen Allen, Principal Heritage E-STEM Magnet School School

Chris Hiti, Principal Friendly Hills Middle School