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Information Sharing: GVMS Schedule and Music

The Great Valley School District is aware of a petition circulating in our community that is based on erroneous and partial information. In response to the information we have received, we want to clarify that there is absolutely no discussion related to cutting programs. We are in a planning process related only to a middle school schedule.

What is really happening?

Over the past several years, the Great Valley School District has been analyzing and evaluating our K-12 instructional programs. This work is part of a District goal to align our K-12 curriculum, and examines not only curriculum and instruction, but also how our structures support students and their learning.  The work started at the elementary level and has moved to the middle school level beginning in the fall of 2019.

Through this process, we learned that:

  • students at Great Valley Middle School, under the current middle school schedule, have less instructional time in the core subject areas (English, math, social studies, and science) than other middle school students across the country; and
  • the number of minutes spent in core instruction is not aligned to what Great Valley students receive at the elementary and high school levels.

In order to create a more consistent Great Valley experience and to maximize instructional time for our students, work to examine the Great Valley Middle School schedule began in January 2020. 

How is this work being done?

  • A guiding coalition of professionals is involved in the efforts to look at options for the middle school schedule. This coalition is comprised of professional staff who represent grade levels and subject areas at the middle school, including the music department.
  • The priorities related to the schedule are to increase core instruction time and to better utilize time for student intervention. Specific to the current middle school program, options being considered have included the reallocation of the 8th period time.
  • With those identified priorities comes the opportunity for us to be creative and more efficient in how we structure time with students. The goal is not to eliminate the current offerings, but to restructure minutes during the day so that we are maximizing instruction for students.
  • The next step in our process will be to reimagine current programs to maintain opportunities for students. If the schedule is changed (and that is still being determined), the delivery of programs may look different, but the programs themselves will still be available.

Have decisions been made?

  • There has been no discussion specific to any program or elective, and no decisions have been made.
  • The district truly is in the midst of a process. As always, once the foundational work is complete and the potential scenarios show promise of becoming reality, information will be shared publicly so that our community is educated and informed.

This work is focused on our ongoing commitment to students and their learning. Great Valley School District has always been and will remain a district that is focused on the whole child. We are committed to ensuring that our students benefit from a strong educational program that encourages their interests and talents while also ensuring they have the skills and competencies to be successful.