News

Extended Day

SPARK Families,

First off I wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time to provide your feedback to APS regarding how we should move forward with the make-up days. This was not an easy decision, but I do feel confident that with the choice that was selected we will be able to maximize this time and leverage it to truly benefit our kids.

All APS schools will have an additional 30 minutes added to the instructional day. This means that students will be dismissed at 3:00 so please plan accordingly. For students who ride the bus home, please expect them to arrive 30 minutes later at their bus stops. The beginning of the school day will remain the same. We ask that all parents do their best to have students to school by 7:55 a.m. as we have done all year.

While speaking to our teachers, a number of us felt that this was the best option overall, but planning and reworking of a few schedules will be needed to maximize the time. Using data, teacher observations and where we are currently in the scope and sequence of our curriculum, each grade level was asked specifically where they felt they needed the additional time to work with our students. Each grade level has provided a plan to me and our instructional coach, Mr. Roy Jackson, and we will be working with them to ensure that the time is used specifically for the plan they have outlined. Specials and Support teachers will be assigned to grade levels to provide support during the extended time. A synopsis of each grade level plan is listed below.

Kindergarten
SPARK Kindergarten will be using our extra 30 minutes of instructional time by increasing math and science/social studies by 15 minutes. We will also move our second recess (turf time) to 2:30. The extra time will allow us to do more centers, hands-on activities and small group instruction without any interruption.

1st Grade
First grade will use the 30 extra minutes as an extension of science and social studies. This will allow us to have more hands on science experiments and more in depth social studies lessons. This time will be added to the end of the day to maximize the time that is already scheduled for science and social studies.

2nd Grade
Second Grade will extend our math instruction by thirty minutes with more hands on activities, center time and small group guided math lessons. This extended time will support the curriculum goals set by Atlanta Public Schools and Georgia State Standards while also better equipping our students with the needed skills to show true mastery of 2nd grade Math standards. This additional time will be added to the math instructional block that is already scheduled at the end of the school day.

3rd Grade
The SPARK 3rd grade team will use the additional 30 minutes in the following manner:

  • Humanities teachers will use the additional time for writing instruction with a focus on Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop as well as increasing the total amount of time for Social Studies instruction.
  • STEM teachers will use the additional time for Science instruction specifically with hands on instruction. Additional time will be added to the Math instructional day for spiral review. Students will alternate weeks with their Humanities or STEM teachers.
    • A (Homeroom)
      January 29, 2018
      February 12, 2018
      March 5, 2018
      March 20, 2018
    • B (Afternoon Class)
      February 5, 2018
      February 26, 2018
      March 12, 2018
      March 26, 2018

4th Grade
Fourth grade will be using the extra 30 minutes each day as extended class time. We will be following an A/B pattern alternating between Math and Writing/ELA/Social Studies. For instance, if your child is in Ms. Fellows’ or Dr. Naman’s class, their schedule would be as follows:

  • Mon, 1/29: 2:30-3:00 P.M.=Math with Ms. Fellows/Dr. Naman
  • Tues, 1/30: 2:30-3:00 P.M.=Writing/ELA/Social Studies with Ms. Neal/Mrs. Steigerwalt
  • Wed, 1/31: 2:30-3:00 P.M.=Math with Ms. Fellows/Dr. Naman
  • Thur, 2/1: 2 :30-3:00 P.M.=Writing/ELA/Social Studies with Ms. Neal/Mrs. Steigerwalt
  • Fri, 2/2: 2:30-3:00 P.M.=Math with Ms. Fellows/Dr. Naman

5th Grade
The 5th grade team will be using the 30 minute extended time in the following way:

  • The Humanities teachers will use the additional time for ELA & Social Studies Spiral Review of grade 5 standards – with additional support in the area of writing.
  • The STEM teachers will use the additional time for Math & Science Spiral Review of grade 5 standards – With a focus on hands-on/experimental learning in Science.

5th grade will work on a weekly rotation for the additional time. If your child is in a humanities homeroom they will work with their humanities teacher for the full week. If they are in a STEM homeroom, they will work with their STEM teacher for that week and then they will switch off the following week.

If you have any questions regarding the plans that each grade level has proposed, please feel free to reach out to your HR teacher or to me. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding!

Sincerely,
Terry Harness, Principal