A solid and successful master schedule is fundamentally important and appropriate for the growth of all students. It is a function of the school’s philosophy, a reflection of its vision, and a blueprint for its resource allocation.
In September of 2018, the master schedule at Wampus went through a major overhaul.
Prior to Mrs. McInerney’s arrival as principal in September 2018, she held individual conferences with faculty, staff, parents, and administration to understand what practices would be beneficial to continue. The overall objective was to build a structured schedule that all children could follow, foster calmness, and be developmentally appropriate for grades 3-5. This concept goes hand-in-hand with the Wampus community goals.
“At this stage of development, children are working hard on executive functioning so they can be auditorily, receptively, and visually organized,” said Wampus Principal, Mrs. Peggy McInerney. “Students need an efficient yet simple school schedule so they know and understand what each day looks like and how they can be responsible for making it their own.” This schedule allows ownership for students to learn how to organize and manage their responsibilities.
The next layer was making the master schedule a good fit for the teachers. “In the elementary school world, teachers are with students the entire day delivering academic, social, emotional, and behavioral instruction. The master schedule has to be organized, simple, and calm so teachers are able to create a learning environment that works best for them and their students,” said Mrs. McInerney.
“The master schedule needed to ensure the emotional well-being of all students and teachers and this was non-negotiable,” Mrs. McInerney said.
A Wampus program that has benefited from the master schedule change was recess intramurals. The three physical education staff members, Chrissy Motta, Doreen Cohen, and Gina Whalen rebuilt and transformed intramurals into an all-inclusive plan that is flourishing. “This program was able to be revitalized because we maximized children’s time and were able to provide more freedom in their schedule,” said Mrs. McInerney. The students look forward to participating in organized athletics during recess. Intramurals incorporates all of the attitudes and beliefs that are part of Wampus’ values including grit, perseverance, growth mindset, friendly competition, sportsmanship, respect, ability to play with students from other classes, and general engagement.
There is a universal feeling of safety and trust at Wampus that is part of the culture. Students need structure to help with development and a well-constructed master schedule delivers the right building blocks essential for success.