Dear Harrisburg Middle School Families,
As you know this has been a challenging start to a challenging year. We are officially through the first quarter of the school year and we have learned many amazing things about our staff, students, and families during these extraordinary times. I want you to know that staff have worked tirelessly to provide the best education for all students. We’re all working on new learning platforms and adjusting as we’re experiencing successes and failures. We also recognize the resiliency of our students and the tremendous effort that they put in during all their zoom meetings.
As the building principal I am tasked with creating a schedule that fits the guidelines set by the Oregon Department of Education. I also try to mirror, as closely as possible, the high school so our students are prepared for the challenges that come with being a high school student. Our current schedule allows for small breaks between classes and a lunch in the middle of the day, followed by two more classes in the afternoon. I have spoken with many of you, observed students and staff during zoom meetings, looked at attendance and grade data and have determined that our current schedule is not conducive to what is best for our students. Students need a break from screens and need to be done earlier in the day. Therefore I am making a change to the current schedule.
Our new schedule will still start at 8:05 and students will still go through all seven class periods. Instead of classes being forty-five minutes long they will now be thirty minutes in length. There will also be a ten minute “passing period” between each class to allow time for students to stretch their legs, grab a drink and snack, or use the restroom, or just be a kid for ten minutes. There will be a twenty-five minute break after second period for students to have breakfast and get away from their screens for a time. After breakfast students will continue through their schedule as normal.
Student’s classes will not change and there will be no new links to learn. Everything will stay the same. The only change will be the times of each class. Here is what your student’s new time schedule will be:
1st period: 8:05 - 8:35
2nd period: 8:45 - 9:15
Break 9:15 - 9:40
3rd period: 9:40 - 10:10
4th period: 10:20 - 10:50
5th period: 11:00 - 11:30
6th period: 11:40 - 12:10
7th period: 12:20 - 12:50
In this new schedule we are also eliminating PE classes. PE is a whole year class. Right now there are no zoom meetings for students who are in PE; only a log that must be filled out. We are eliminating the log that students need to fill out. So, if your student has PE then this becomes an additional screen break for them.
Our major hope is that attendance and grades will improve, along with staff and student morale, by shortening the zoom day. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the main middle school office.