With the end of the 2020-21 school year quickly approaching, we are beginning to plan for next school year. As the District has navigated the learning modes throughout this year, our goal was always focused on increasing contact time and consistency between our staff and students. This remains true with the staffing changes that are expected to be made for the 2021-22 school year.
Add a third-grade classroom at Cassingham Elementary and Maryland Elementary
To increase contact time through smaller class sizes, the District plans to add a third-grade classroom at both Cassingham and Maryland. Smaller class sizes in our elementary classrooms allow teachers to be intensively responsive to identified learning gaps and the increased mental health needs of students. With our current projected class sizes being nearly 30 in those two classes for next school year, it is critical for the district to add additional third-grade classrooms at both of these elementary schools.
Add intervention specialists
The District intends to hire 2.5 intervention specialist positions. Intervention specialists support students with specialized learning needs and the increased mental health needs of students on specialized plans.
Expand writing instruction in sixth-grade
Our MAP data for first through eighth-grade students shows that instructional efforts to close academic gaps in reading and math are working. We believe this is a reflection of our ability to offer smaller class sizes, intensive support, and sustained blocks of instructional time in literacy and math. We’ve also seen K-5 students experience growth with increased contact time and daily consistency of instruction during hybrid 2.0. We now need to provide similar practices in writing for our sixth-graders.
Increasing the writing instruction consistency for our sixth-grade students at Bexley Middle is a need that we’ve observed since the spring of 2019. Currently, our sixth-grade students are provided three periods of writing instruction a week. The other two periods are for language exploration in French and Spanish. We plan to expand our writing instruction for sixth-graders to five days a week, which would eliminate language exploration in sixth grade. We will continue to offer French and Spanish to our seventh and eighth-grade students.
To help gauge their interest, next year’s sixth-grade students will hear presentations from World Language teachers in the winter as they prepare to pick a full-time language beginning in 7th grade.
The Revision of Foreign Language
We also plan to provide more sustained blocks of learning for our K-5 students with fewer transitions. This will allow the District to further focus on writing in elementary. As a result, the District will no longer offer Spanish as a separate study in elementary school. Instead, the District seeks to grow and embed more culturally responsive learning experiences into daily instruction. We want students to have a broad, inclusive perspective and look forward to enhancing instructional practices that support this goal. We also recognize that there is some interest from K-6 students for further language exploration. As a result, the District will engage in a year-long planning process to design a summer language experience for interested Bexley students in 2022. The goal is to create an experience that provides immersion and exploration for students who have an interest in foreign languages.
Reinstatement of District-Funded AP Testing
Bexley City Schools will return to funding registration costs for all AP tests in the 2021-2022 school year. This is a return to the District's previous practice and Board policy.
Other additions or reinstatements
- Reinstate four periods of Social Studies at BMS
- These were reduced in the Spring of 2020.
- Add four additional periods of Social Studies at BHS
- Due to increased enrollment and increased interest, we’ve been able to add additional academic electives, including African-American History. In the past, this course was only offered every other year.
- Reinstate librarian positions at BMS
- The previous BMS librarian is currently serving as the Cassingham Elementary librarian due to budgetary reductions in the Spring of 2020.
- Hire an elementary librarian for Cassingham Elementary
- Reinstate this position from 2020 budget reductions.
- Repurpose high school library aide position to serve in English Resource Center
- This position works with high school students with identified literacy needs.