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Music Instruction Stays In Regular Intermediate School Day For Next Year

Intermediate School 2012-13 schedule set, includes music instruction

The Monday night sent a letter to parents detailing the final schedule for the upcoming school year which includes all music instruction within the regular school day, .

The announcement comes one day ahead of a Board of Education meeting, slated for 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Intermediate School and on the second full week of new 's tenure with the district.

Simon, who started on July 1, said in an interview late Monday afternoon that he was pleased with the schedule, which he said incorporates additional math and language instruction while keeping music instruction within the regular school day.

The schedule, , has received the blessing of both the Board of Education and the district's educational association, Simon Said.

"I think this demonstrates why community input is so critical,'' Simon said. "I think this is foreshadowing of the way I intend to go forward in the district.''

Major changes to the Intermediate School schedule include, according to the district's presentation:

  • The number of periods in the school day will increase to 10 from the current 9 periods.
  • Periods will be 38 minutes, down from 40 minutes.
  • There will be 2 minutes between classes, down from 4 minutes
  • Math and language instruction will increase to 76 minutes from 40 minutes each
  • Spanish instruction will increase from a trimester to a full year
  • Music instruction will remain within the school day
  • School day will begin at 8:10 a.m., five minutes earlier
  • School day will end at 2:50 p.m., one minute later

The parent letter, signed by Intermediate School Principal Gary Azzolini, says that changes were made to the original plan based on parent and community feedback following the announcement of propose schedule changes that would have punted some music instruction outside the regular school day.

"When the school year concluded, we took time to reflect upon your input, reconsider our modifications, and make some significant changes to the original plan," Azzolini says in the letter.

The new plan looks similar to a one put forward in June by parent Jim Boyle, whose email to district parents first alerted the public to proposed changes to the Intermediate School schedule.

Boyle also based his plan on a 10-period day, included expanded math and language periods and kept music instruction within the regular school day.

Boyle could not be reached Monday night.

There are three public meetings scheduled to explain the new changes, according to the letter.

The first, scheduled for July 17 at 2 p.m., is intended for parents of 6th grade students. The second, scheduled for July 18 at 2 p.m. is intended for parents of seventh and eighth grade students. And the third, scheduled for July 18 at 7 p.m. is open to all grades, according to the letter. All will be held at the Intermediate School.

Tom Coyle July 09, 2012 at 11:43 PM
"What's Going On At The Intermediate School?!" "Phone Calls Not Returned!" "Where is the transparency and openness?!" "Questionable data collection techniques!" Really can't fault these reactions the way Habel, Brower, and Cannon ran things around here for years. But this is a new day in Wall. Will music be shifted out of the regular day eventually? Perhaps. But THIS BOARD LISTENS. And it acts according to the will of the people when it is at all feasible. Gone are the days when Dave Lucas could shill an idea that Habel put in his pocket, and it would be magically written in stone before the next vote. This is the kind of Board that we were all hoping to put in on last year's vote. And we got it.
JD July 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
My opinion... reason why after meetings with public.... not getting responses from the interim... the new super was having discussions behind the scenes.... probably saying... like He11 you are going to implement this before I become super... it was a dumb idea to begin with that someone with an agenda probably saw this as an opening to push an agenda... it didn't work.
Michael Ferrell July 16, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Some food for thought comes from a new study from the Center for American Progress. It seems even students nationwide and in new jersey think intermediate school is not challenging. Maybe we are boring our students to poor performance? This is a snippet from the report..... most telling is many students thought their math work was too easy! According to New Jersey results in the report: • 40 percent of fourth-graders surveyed in 2011 felt math was often or always too easy. • 30 percent of eighth-graders in 2011 thought their math work was always or often too easy. • 21 percent of seniors the same year said math work was always or often too easy. • And 74 percent of eighth-graders in 2009 said they hadn’t been taught any engineering or technology. The report analyzes three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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