Flex time may replace fixed timetables at Sea to Sky Schools

Supt. Lisa McCullough says officials hope this will become the norm for K to 12

Flexible timetables may become the standard across all schools in the Sea to Sky School District.

Officials are working at gradually moving away from strictly regimented schedules, said Supt. Lisa McCullough.

"It's more about, ‘How to do we organize for students' learning?' Instead of just creating a timetable like we always do," said McCullough.

"In a perfect world... it would be students designing their own learning plans with the support of a teacher advocate and a group of peers who are invested in their learning, too."

The talks remain in preliminary stages, but this is a goal that the school district hopes to accomplish in the future.

There is no hard deadline for the transition. Rather, McCullough says that it's intended to be a gradual evolution — possibly over the next two years — rather than a program with a set start date.

It's hoped that this will bring Grades 8 to 12 to closer resemble a timetable system that McCullough says is already effect for primary schools.

Under a primary school model, she said, teachers stay with a group of students for the year, assesses their needs day by day, and designs the schedule accordingly.

This system can allow for greater customization.

Under the current models for secondary school timetables, students are shuffled between different teachers and classes every few hours.

This may not always offer the chance for students to accomplish what McCullough considers to be "deeper learning," which includes defining a goal and scheduling the day around meeting that goal.

"The intention of the new curriculum is to design for deeper learning through students' personal inquiry and through what we would call an interdisciplinary approach," said McCullough.

"You wouldn't necessarily have subjects in separate categories, like English here, and social studies there. You would do this together."

It's a system of learning that would allow for people with different specializations to help students.

So, for example, a science teacher and a math teacher could help a student out with a project that combined elements of both.

The Sea Sky Teachers' Association declined to comment on the proposed changes, saying there wasn't information available.

Representatives from local parental advisory councils also declined to comment for the same reason.

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