In the Interim--So what's happening the week of October 15-19 that required a special schedule? We are glad you asked! The district schools are taking the Interim Assessment Band exams for quarter one in English and Math. We are wanting to see how well our students are doing to be ready for the Smarter Balance later in the year. We will be able to get important and swift feedback from the test, and we envision using it to inform our subsequent instruction. Where we are showing weak results, we can re-teach or approach anew, and where our students excel, we can recall for future use. We are using a special schedule to make this happen. Call it a "Block" where students will attend half their classes but for nearly twice the time. It is designed to allow students to really focus, and not have to spend time in transition or struggling with technology. Did we mention that the totality of the test is online? We are expecting all of our students to bring their electronic tablets to school all next week, especially. We anticipate that some of the logistic issues will sort themselves out allowing students ample time to work on the test. Since students will be testing with their actual Math and English teachers, we believe the feedback loop will work better, and student anxiety will be lowered. For all other classes, not English or Math, we hope the unique schedule allows for some innovative lessons. A science teacher with a double period may be able to run a fuller lab. Maybe our art teacher can have the students dig deep, or a World Language teacher can run a fun seminar or do multiple stations. We know that any strange schedule creates its own stress, but we believe after our first day, we will grown accustomed to it--and who knows, maybe fond of it, too?