Here is how it works in my school. This is from the principal except the 5th grade party one.
Field Trips - No rearranging of schedules Most of the field trips involve going into Houston anyways (from Richmond/Rosenberg) and are all day. When they first get back aids/office staff/administration often relieve the teachers from a few minutes so they can make bathroom runs if necessary. Also when we 4th/5th grade teachers did not get a break because we were helping supervise our kids during their practice for the Christmas production we were allowed to leave at 3:00 instead of 3:30. That gave us time to go get something to eat, before reporting to the high school at 5:30 for the performance.
Assemblies - If an assembly is held during a grade's specials class the specials teachers take them, (note usually this only happens during 5th grade. Our team rotates in and out of the assembly (kids on the floor of the Caf. 5th graders at the back) so with the specials teachers there are at least 5-6 teachers plus a couple of aids watching the kids. (our fifth graders need watching) This gives each classroom teacher a chance to run to the bathroom or call a parent)
Parties - The school schedule for parties is 1:50 - 2:30. 5th grade has lunch from 12:30 - 1:00, wrap up/pack up time from 1:00 - 1:15, recess from 1:15 - 1:30 specials at 1:40 - 2:30. (note from 1 - 1:40 we are rotating 5 classes with 117 students through 2 bathrooms) 5th grade team leader reschedules the party for Lunch/Recess time and kids go to specials. By having the party during lunch we replace the usual sugar fest with a pizza party or some other fun fast food (parent picks up and brings). The kids do bring candy and cookies, but I pass this out at the end of the party, and they take it home like party favors. The Art teacher, and coach like this arrangement. The Music teacher DOES NOT (always yells at me about it, I tell her to take it up with the team leader it is not my call).
Early Dismissal days (you didn't ask but I thought I would share) If there are 2 back to back (conferences in the fall and spring) there is a revised schedule from the office and every grade has specials 1 of the 2 days. If it is a one day thing (end of term, workday) 4th and 5th grade teachers (we are the only ones that miss because of the time factor) are given the option of taking an 1 hour lunch or leaving 45 min early.Our kids just miss out that day.
Testing - Aids/Specials teachers/administration relieve classroom (3rd, 4th, 5th grades) teachers during their conference period (aids a couple of times during the day for bathroom breaks and it is so quiet I'm going to scream breaks). Also all K-2 students have PE only on testing days. There are metal walls between the Music room - 3rd grade pod - Art room and sound conducts like crazy so the Music and art teacher help supervise a game day in the gym for the lower grades.
----- Original Message -----
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 6:50 PM
Subject: Elem. teachers/switching classes
Just an informal survey question for elementary teachers out there:
At your school, are teachers permitted to rearrange your schedule whenever they have field trips, standardized testing, assemblies, parties, etc, etc., etc., in order that they not miss their planning period which the "specials" provide? This is a hot topic at my school right now and I'm really curious as to how you all feel about this and how it's handled at your schools. Thanks for any input. -judy from cleveland ---