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Rigorous state standards force change in Dorseyville Middle School schedules |
Fox Chapel

Rigorous state standards force change in Dorseyville Middle School schedules

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:08 p.m
Jon Nauhaus, Dorseyville Middle School principal, and Lisa Lang, president of the Fox Chapel Area Educators Association.

Rising eighth graders at Fox Chapel Area School District will be able this spring to build schedules by choosing electives like foreign languages, art and band.

The input comes as restructured class schedules at Dorseyville Middle School move forward, focusing increased class time on core classes.

The changes came about because “instructional landscapes had changed while our schedule had not,” Principal Jon Nauhaus said.

New standards increased the rigor, Nauhaus said, with instruction now requiring problem-solving and creativity.

“It takes more time than we were allotting before,” he said.

A year of collaborative sessions between the staff, parents and administrators resulted in a new model that is expected to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.

Most recently, the plan was presented on Jan. 7 to the Fox Chapel Area School Board.

Board action isn’t necessary to change the DMS schedule, said Bonnie Berzonski, district coordinator of communications. But in March 2018, the board authorized Superintendent Gene Freeman to modify the middle school schedule.

Nauhaus said new schedules were developed primarily by middle school teachers. Parents and administrators suggested tweaks until the three groups reached a consensus on one plan. Shared priorities included maintaining a variety of courses and an appropriate increase in class time for core classes.

Schedule selections will begin in spring. Students can choose from 180-day foreign language courses, 90-day chorus, band and orchestra, and 45-day art, tech ed, computer and family and consumer science classes. Parents will have final say over students’ class picks, Nauhaus said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, or via Twitter .

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