Steamboat Springs When the Steamboat Springs Middle School's new "flexible schedule" is implemented next year, teachers should have fewer students to teach and less time restraints while teaching them.
The Steamboat Springs School Board will hear a presentation explaining the schedule today.
With the schedule, during the first four hours of each day students will be taught four core subjects from two different teachers. The children will be put in a class where they will stay for all four hours (25 students in size for the sixth graders, for example). The same two classes will rotate between the same two teachers all year.
What makes the schedule "flexible" is that the teachers will communicate with each other on how much time they will take to teach each subject, each day. On some days, students may have two hours of math and an hour of science. On other days, 45 minutes of math would be on the agenda.
"The curriculum determines the hour, not the clock," Steamboat Middle School Principal Tim Bishop said, who will give the presentation to the board.
Bishop explained that this schedule will reduce the number of students each teacher will see, providing more connectivity between subjects while allowing the teachers to better identify and work with children who are falling behind.
Once the four-hour block is over, the students will fall into a more traditional schedule for the last two hours of class time including foreign language, physical education and band. However, there still will be opportunities to expand class time to do special activities, Bishop said.
Since September, Bishop and school staff have worked on the new schedule. They combined the best aspects of the traditional seven-period schedule and the four-period block schedule to find what works best for the school. Bishop said he wanted to take the combination of the two schedules and add the element of time flexibility which is a new concept for school officials in Colorado.
"Not many people are doing it yet," he said.
As a result, administrators from other schools in Colorado who are interested in time flexibility for classes will be watching Steamboat Springs Middle School to see how its new schedule is implemented, Bishop said.
The board meets at 6:30 p.m. today at the George P. Sauer Human Resource Center boardroom.