What's New 2019-20
A-days will now be Monday/Wednesday only and B-days are now Tuesday/Thursday only. Fridays will generally be "Discovery Days." The alternating A/B Fridays were sometimes challenging for students (and parents and staff) to remember which was which. There are also other benefits to going to a Discovery Day Friday schedule. The change will allow for easier 4-day schedules, early-out Fridays, or other family schedule preferences, and a better application of our model to include more hands-on project-based learning experiences.
Discovery Days will include 90-minute and 45-minute projects in the Engage labs and assemblies, fairs, and student recognition time. Foundations and STEMRec will operate as normal. Each week homeroom classes will complete a project in a different Engage lab. This is designed to provide ongoing learning experiences in each content area even when the student may not be scheduled for a specific Engage lab that term. Students will have their normal start/end times on Discovery Fridays, unless scheduled differently by the parent. Our fairs will be scheduled for Discovery Days and all assemblies will be planned for Discovery Days.
We also have 2 full weeks of Discovery Days through the year. The first will be August 13-August 16 and the second will be April 13-April 17. August 13-16 is an optional (but fun and engaging) back to school type week before regular classes start. The April 13-17 Discovery Week is there to fulfill our charter of having time when a family can schedule family time and miss school without affecting Engage classes. The week will be awesome with some spectacular learning adventures, but for those families that want a week off separately from spring break to avoid the crowds, Discovery Week is a good time for that.
This year we will have a Health and Safety Fair, World/History Fair, Science Fair, Career Fair, Arts Fair, Spelling Bee, and quarterly recognition assemblies. Other assemblies will be presented by the administrative team, Utah Opera, the Utah Sheriff's Office, the FSO, grade-level teams, and many more.
Multi-Term Engage Classes
New this year, some Engage classes will continue through multiple terms or all year. These are skill type classes where students will benefit from a continuity of practice such as orchestra, band, show choir, drama production cast, Spanish, First Lego League, and more.
Students will get to learn about these classes during Welcome Week and can apply to be in them. Once enrolled, it is expected they will stay in the class the whole year. Although there will be times a student will need to drop, we would like to encourage learning to make and keep commitments by asking students and parents to sign an application and expectation sheet that the student will stay in the class the whole year.
The drama production cast will be the students who put on the Christmas and Spring shows each year. The show choir will put on 2 to 3 concerts each year. The First Lego League team will compete in a Saturday robotics competition.
We are adding school breakfast this year. Breakfast will be available from 8am-10:30am. It will be grab 'n go style. Students will be able to choose from two different muffins, a yogurt, two kinds of fruit, and milk from our new breakfast cart. Prices are $2, .30 reduced, or free for qualified families. The free and reduced application is available on our website. If you intend for your student to eat school breakfast, please factor that into their start/end time. We will include a scheduling 101 session at back-to-school night to go over the ins and outs of our scheduling system.
We have also added a new policy that students who purchase a lunch may go through the salad bar a second time at no additional charge.
Instead of 5 scheduling blocks during the school year, we have switched to four terms during the regular school year. Five blocks ended up requiring too much mentor teacher time on scheduling. Two terms will fall before Christmas break and two terms will be after. June will continue to be a separate summer term.
Facility Improvements - Lockers & Addition
We added two new classrooms over the summer to better accommodate our need for Engage class space. The Quiet Homeroom will be moving upstairs to one of the rooms and our Reading Engage class will move to the other. The Library will return to being a library. The first floor Quiet Homeroom space will now have various Engage classes such as Wellness, Jobs, Skills, and ExplorIt.
We also added lockers. Students will drop off coats, backpacks, and lunches at their lockers as they arrive to the building. Students and parents will need to sign a locker agreement before a locker is assigned.
Classroom Sets of Headphones
We purchased a classroom set of headphones for each homeroom so that parents no longer need to purchase headphones.
First Grade Foundations Changes
First graders will now have an extended Foundations time. We've seen the need for a more gentle introduction to our full model as students transition from kindergarten to the full model in second grade. First graders will now meet for a 4.5 hour Foundations core time that is station rotation based just like Kindergarten. They will use the same art, music, literacy, wellness, science, and math stations as located in Kindergarten, but with first grade curriculum. For the rest of their day, they will go to STEMRec and Engage classes.
Kindergarten Additional Time
We added 30 minutes to kindergarten in order to have extra time for recess, welcome crew, and end crew.
New STEMRec Activity Centers
We are adding some awesome new activity centers to STEMRec. We will have two giant Connect 4 games, three Lego tables, an Osmo center, Snap Circuits center, chess tables, various game tables, and an augmented reality sand table. It's going to be Epic!