Teacher workload relief

At the request of Dr. Merrill, the Strategic Planning Implementation Steering Committee spent the spring months reviewing all the initiatives planned for the 2012-2013 school year in order to see if any could be eliminated, combined or put on hold in order to alleviate the workload for faculty and staff.

“It is our intent to bring innovation, forward thinking and creative programs into our schools each year, but we are also cognizant of the impact these changes make on the day to day workload of our teachers and administrators,” Dr. Merrill said. “The objectives and initiatives we are eliminating should free our staff to keep moving forward as we work toward our collective goals.”

The following reductions and eliminations were carefully vetted to ensure no testable or necessary objectives were lost while also providing relief to staff members.

All Schools:

  • The benchmarks for 21st century skills were developed as guidelines for teachers to create rubrics. Now, the Curriculum & Instruction staff will create those rubrics to be used as part of curriculum-embedded performance tasks.
  • Objective-based local assessments have been eliminated.
  • The implementation of digital portfolios division-wide has been delayed, but planning will continue.
  • Due to the success of the Parent Portal, progress reports have been eliminated. They will only be used when required (i.e., for students with disabilities, students not making sufficient progress, etc.)
  • Cornerstone assessments will continue to be refined and field tested, but on a smaller scale.
  • Gifted resource teachers will see a 60 percent reduction in training due to the elimination of after school cluster training and large reductions to training during the school day.
  • The Literacy and Vanguard Initiatives will be connected for collaborative training. Principals can work in the current Vanguard strand for one more year and build capacity without having to add a new area of focus.
  • Administrators will resubmit their updated Plan for Continuous Improvement as usual. The new school-based PCI form and process will be delayed for the 2012-13 school year.

High Schools:

  • Mid-year exams for high schools have been eliminated.
  • The Annual Foreign Language Assessment Program testing will continue for Level I and Level II. Level III testing has been put on hold.

Middle Schools:

  • The expansion of the STEM middle school curriculum to all middle schools will be delayed until school year 2014-15 since the entire current curriculum is updated and in alignment with state standards. The STEM field test school, Corporate Landing Middle School, will have one full year of implementation.
  • The Annual Foreign Language Assessment Program testing will continue for Level I and Level II. Level III testing has been put on hold.

Elementary Schools:

  • The new elementary mathematics curriculum will not be implemented until the 2013-14 school year, which will coincide with the launch of the new textbooks. This school year will be used for developing, refining and field testing the curriculum with teacher and principal feedback.
  • Separate planning for science and social studies in grades K-1 has been eliminated since the curriculum is already designed for science and social studies to be integrated through strong literacy instruction. Consequently, grading for K-1 science and social studies has been replaced with a report card narrative.
  • 416 objectives for K-5 science and social studies have been eliminated either to reduce redundancy or because the objectives are no longer required to be taught by the Virginia Standards of Learning at this level.
  • The standards-based report card for elementary schools will be delayed for all remaining schools until 2013-14. The four field test schools will continue distributing the new report card.

For more information on these relief measures, contact your school’s administration.


Tell your friends! FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermailFollow us! FacebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram


2 thoughts on “Teacher workload relief

  1. Why do I feel the weight of various new requirements and initiatives (new eval system, new (and still vexing on many levels) Professional Learning system, stronger push on Literacy) without feeling at all relieved of any prior requirements? The lists above sound impressive, but the effect down at the teacher level appears to be null.

    1. Please feel free to give our office a call to discuss some of your concerns. We are always open to hearing feedback from our teachers. You can reach me at 263-1234. Thank you for your post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.