Change is hard! This fact holds true to most businesses or organizations including the Madison Metropolitan School District. Though the MMSD is not dying in the sense of being gone forever, the failure of the operating referendum on May 24th has given the school district the opportunity to develop new service delivery models that may enhance student opportunities for success.
As of late, school board members have been receiving e-mail communications from concerned parents related to changes in band and orchestra at Sherman Middle School. The Sherman principal has decided to move band and orchestra to an “8th hour” or after school. My question is, “Why just band and orchestra at Sherman?” Why not facilitate this change throughout the school district in other academic areas?
Local colleges and universities have adopted this model. These models offer courses during multiple times of day and the evening that provide advantages to the traditional and the non-traditional student. Why shouldn’t the MMSD look to these models?
Changes in service delivery such as those at Sherman Middle School could be an opportunity to enhance other programs and curricula throughout the district. Can you imagine students having the opportunity to take advanced placement courses or talented and gifted programs after school while earning grades/credit? How about students needing to recover deficient credits? How about teachers who would like to flex their work schedule in order to take an early morning collegiate course or to better accommodate their childcare arrangements? This could be a “win-win” situation for all involved.
Change is hard. But change is a must given the challenges facing the Madison Metropolitan School District. Change is also an opportunity to explore new ways of teaching and learning for the betterment of the entire school district.