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December 17, 2013

New schedule includes more class time for students at CMS

COMMERCE — A new class schedule for Commerce Middle School is opening the door for teachers to have nearly double the in class time with students in the core subjects of math, science English and social studies.

Currently, students go to class for 45 minutes for each core subject. Under the new schedule, the class times for core subjects move up to 85 minutes.

Charles Alderman, director of curriculum and instruction at Commerce Independent School District, said the new schedule will help students grasp each core class with a better understanding.

“Part gives us more time for remediation,” he said. “Part of the hope is that teachers will have more time for kids to understand the materials.”

One of the downsides to the new schedule, Alderman said, was it would cut out one elective class during the day to make time for the increased class time. And the average class size will increase from 19-20 students in a class, to 25-26 students per room.

According to Alderman, the teachers are completely on board with this new schedule.

“If you talk to our middle school teachers, the number one thing they want is more time to teach,” he said, adding he met with each grade’s Professional Learning Community (PLC), to get feedback on the new schedule.

CISD Board of Trustees member Kathleen Hooten said as a former science teacher, she likes the new schedule.

“In the school district I taught in we did it and it was great,” she said. “I love it. It would be forward thinking.”

Blake Cooper, superintendent for CISD, said he enjoys seeing increased cooperation between the administration and teachers.

“There’s been a lot of interactions with Charlie and the administration,” he said. “And that’s a good sign.”

Alderman said the school will not increase the amount of subjects the teachers need to cover.

“It’s the same material, but they have more time to cover it,” he said.

The new schedule is expected to be put in place during the 2014-15 school year.

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