BCS MS Scheduling Updates

August 18th, 2020

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Hello BCS Family!

I hope this message finds you all well! As we move toward September with so many mixed emotions, I want to take this opportunity to apprise you of some of the changes coming to Middle School this year. I cannot stress enough that the health and safety of all community members and ensuring a quality academic experience for all students were the fundamental principles that guided our planning efforts.

You will receive more information about both in-person and remote instruction expectations and student schedules in the next two weeks. If you have not yet made a decision about in-person vs. remote instruction for the first marking period, please email your preference to Mrs. Snuffin as soon as possible. We cannot truly finalize schedules until we have this information! We will send out a last call for change requests and responses later this week.

I anticipate student schedules will be available in OnCourse on or before August 28th.

Early next week, I will send out information about Zoom office hours where students can sign-on to ask me any questions they have about September.

I am certain many of you will still have questions about the information included in this newsletter. That being said, I ask (okay.. beg) for your patience in responding to questions.

Despite all of the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and our return to school, I am excited for the upcoming school year. Though it will be an experience like no other, set over an ever-changing landscape full of pit-falls and stumbling-blocks, I look forward to meeting those challenges head on with the backing of our amazing staff and support of our community!

2020-2021 Character Education Theme & Logo

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5th Grade Changes

In an effort to improve long-term academic outcomes and increase continuity throughout the middle school, we are departmentalizing 5th grade. We hope this change will reap the following benefits including, but not limited to: providing daily Science instruction in preparation for the 5th grade NJSLA, incorporating social/emotional learning and civics standards to foster student self and global awareness, allowing teachers to develop more specialized instruction in their assigned content areas, and giving students an opportunity to feel like true middle schoolers.

With this change, we will be continue to provide 90 minute for ELA instruction daily, but will move to 45 minute periods for mathematics with the understanding that we will make every attempt to make cross-curricular connections and incorporate mathematical reasoning and computation practice into other content area classes.

5th Grade content area teachers are as follows:

  • Mrs. Basner - Mathematics
  • Mrs. Franchetti - ELA
  • Ms. Kaiser - ELA & Social Studies
  • Mrs. Kilpatrick - Science
  • Mr. Lipnitz - Social Studies

6th - 8th Grade Changes

Core Curriculum Content
  • Due to the need for additional sections at each grade level, we will be moving to single periods for ELA and Math instruction in the 2020-2021 school year. This will also ensure consistency across each grade level with regard to staffing.
  • Supplemental instruction in Math and ELA will be offered at least once per week. The goals of these courses are to provide remedial and differentiated instruction to close learning gaps, offer enrichment activities to those achieving above grade level, and create additional opportunities to practice and refine reading, writing, and math skills. Teachers of these courses will work closely with ELA and Math teachers at each grade level.

  • We are excited to announce the incorporation of advisory classes to address the social, emotional, and mental health of our middle school students. The specific content of this course will be driven by student needs as determined by grade level PLC teams in collaboration with our school counselors and administrators. Advisory content will be aligned with NJDOE's Five Core Social and Emotional Competencies. These competencies include:



Social Awareness

Responsible Decision Making

Relationship Skills

Physical Education/Health & Spanish

  • Physical Education and Spanish will join with our supplemental ELA and Math support classes to form a 4 day rotation, so students will have each class at least once per week.
  • PE classes will be a mix of physical education and health topics throughout the year.

Related Arts & Special Area Classes

  • Due to logistics, staffing, and safety - all Visual & Performing Arts classes at the middle school level only, including music, band, art, pre-engineering, computers, and financial literacy, will be held remotely during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • This switch decreases the number of students our related arts teachers physically encounter each week by approximately 50%.
  • Classes will typically meet once per week from 2:30PM to 3:00PM. There will be one week in every four to five week cycle where they will meet twice per week.
  • Students will complete one assignment per week for these classes.
  • 5th - 7th Grade students will be assigned to a different related arts class each marking period unless they are opting to take band as a full year course. Students choosing band will have the option to choose a different elective for the 4th marking period if they wish.
  • 8th Grade students will be assigned to one course for the entire school year based on their survey responses from June.

Proposed Revised Bell Schedule

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Additional Changes

Common Elementary & Middle School Prep Periods

  • Gives teachers the ability to complete work in their classrooms during their prep periods rather than having to share common space areas like faculty rooms.
  • Decreases the number of internal or sub coverages needed daily.

Sample Schedules

Below you will find three sample student schedules to help illustrate what a typical four day rotation will look like in middle school. A video to further explain any schedule changes will follow soon!

5th Grade

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6th - 8th Grade

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2020 BCS MS Schedule - Part 1