We began the process of preparing for this school year- specifically, placement, registration, and scheduling - when we returned from Christmas break last January, seven months before school officially opens. Our classroom educators are responsible for reviewing student performance data and using it to make placement recommendations. For some educators, the process can be challenging both in terms of time needed to dedicate to the process and how to best share placement information with their students.
Last winter, I proposed a process that I called “frontloading.” Using my son, Will, as an example, here’s how the process works. Shockingly, he doesn’t always respond well when I ask him to stop what he’s doing and help with a chore or task. I used to get the long exhale of frustration, the eye rolls, or something else that would irritate me. However, when I frontload the request with an indication that I need him, his response normally is pretty good. For example, “Hey Will, get to a good stopping point, I need to ask you something,” or “Will, I need you to do something in five minutes.” By prepping him for change, his reactions improved. He stopped whining about the request so much and was more likely to say, “Sure, or I got it, or I’m coming now.”
Educators frequently use this strategy. Sometimes it can be as simple as displaying the daily agenda each class, so students know the plan for the day, or giving students an end time for a task or activity. In the case of placement, we talked about preparing students and parents for the registration process by giving them the specifics about our rationale for how we place students, why we use certain data, and what students can do when they have a question about their placement.
Releasing schedules today is the final stage in the process that we began in December.
Students and parents can logon to Gibbons PowerSchool Portal starting today, August 5th at 9 a.m. to view the daily student schedule. If a student has a question about the schedule, we encourage the student to contact his or her counselor. We also will continue to use our course change request form for any student who potentially is looking to request a change.
In the months since we began this process, we’ve been frontloading - using all the necessary resources to create schedules for students. Our scheduling team maximizes the facility usage, so our classes are balanced. Our college counselors review each student schedule to ensure that there are no missing classes, and the requests align with what the student submitted in February. Our registrar, Mrs. Kendra Burns, has worked with students who may have had conflicts or missing classes.
There is such excitement on campus right now. We joyfully anticipate the arrival of our new educators, the return of our current educators and, most importantly, the opening of school for all our students, starting with the Class of 2023 on August 14th. The next two weeks will be filled with our final preparations, our frontloading, to make sure that the opening of the 2019-2020 school year is the best one yet.