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State of the District: Core Instructional Time
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Implementation of Key Initiatives

  • A two hour protected block of time for reading/language arts/math instruction has been configured at all elementary sites by creating what is known as a core music block of time.
  • Extensive research conducted in 2006-2007 showed that pull-out programs, particularly those related to music, created an on-going interruption of time during critical language arts and/or math instructional time. A task force was created to analyze the findings from the research and to develop some viable alternatives so that interruptions would not occur.
  • After months of extensive discussion and planning by the task force, a core music block of time for 4th and 5th graders was created to completely eliminate all pull-outs during critical core instructional time. Schedules were also re-configured to eliminate any pull-outs and/or interruptions to core instructional time in grades K-3. 

How do we measure success?

  • A two hour block for core instruction has been created at all sites.
  • An added benefit of the core music block was the creation of a 25 minute collaboration period for 4th and 5th grade teachers two times per week.
  • Students now have the added opportunity to participate in a choral experience if they do not want to enroll in instrumental music or strings. These classes (under the direction of outstanding music teachers) have gained in popularity over time.
  • Anecdotal data from teachers is very positive given the increased time for core instruction. 

What are the challenges?

  • A two hour block for core instruction has been created at all sites.
  • An added benefit of the core music block was the creation of a 25 minute collaboration period for 4th and 5th grade teachers two times per week.
  • Students now have the added opportunity to participate in a choral experience if they do not want to enroll in instrumental music or strings. These classes (under the direction of outstanding music teachers) have gained in popularity over time.
  • Anecdotal data from teachers is very positive given the increased time for core instruction. 

What are the next steps?

  • Continue to preserve, and if at all possible, expand this protected block of time. Many teachers cite that they actually need a two and a half to three hour block for language arts and math instruction.