New Middle School Schedule

At the November 28, 2012 Board of Education meeting, Frederick County Public Schools presented a report on the proposed new middle school schedule for the 2013-2014 school year.  We welcome feedback from the public on the proposed schedule.  Please e-email MSScheduleFeedback@fcps.org with any comments, suggestions or questions.
The BOE will have a work session on this topic Thursday, December 20, 2 PM, in the Board Room.

Background  The centerpiece of Maryland’s current wave of educational reform is the transition to the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum (MCCSC). This curriculum is based on national standards that are more rigorous than the standards the state currently assesses and better reflect the skills students need to be prepared for college and career.


Current and upcoming changes to the curricula and assessments necessitated by the MCCSC and its emphasis on disciplinary literacy, as well as the challenges inherent in the existing middle school schedule, require a reassessment of the middle school schedule.  The current schedule, with its emphasis on providing additional instructional time in both English Language Arts and Mathematics and less instructional time for both Science and Social Studies, met prior curricular needs well and helped prepare students for success on the MSAs. However, the new MCCSC Standards require students to be fluent thinkers, readers, and writers within the context of a variety of disciplines (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and STEM).  Over the next two years, middle schools will be transitioning away from the MSA’s to a more challenging and rigorous assessment program that will assess more than reading and mathematics. This new accountability system is promised to be in place for the 2014-2015 school year.


In response to these anticipated changes, the former Instructional Director of Middle Schools, formed an exploratory committee of middle school principals to identify a common set of scheduling priorities in light of the changing demands of the new MCCSC, the new teacher and principal evaluation systems as well as feedback received from teachers during meetings with the Superintendent last year. Over the summer, several meetings were held and the following priorities were identified and agreed upon by all middle school principals.

  • Increased flexibility with grouping students in response to their performance data
  • Increased continuity of instruction by having all core content areas meet daily
  • Ability to remediate and extend student learning daily
  • Time for staff to collaborate in professional learning communities to develop a trans-disciplinary focus, analyze student data, and share best practices for continuous improvement.
Instructional Director, Middle Schools:
Thomas Saunders
Phone:  301-696-6810
Fax:  301-696-6801
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Last Modified on December 13, 2012