Change is hard, whether it be personal or professional. However, evolving is also a key element of progress. Last week at the Kyrene School District Governing Board meeting, we presented information about a year and a half study of our middle school program.

Eighteen months ago a task force of middle school teachers and principals was convened because of budget constraints. Although the group originally had a goal of financial savings, through research and discussion it was determined that enhanced student learning opportunities were more important than saving money. After examining various possibilities, a plan was developed that, while very similar to the existing program, does add an additional class for students directed at their differentiated learning needs. This adjusted schedule will be piloted at two middle schools — Kyrene Middle School in Tempe and Pueblo Middle School in Chandler — in the 2013-14 school year.

After several years of severe budget reductions from the Arizona Legislature, some adjustments to programs and services have occurred. However, Kyrene is proud that by maximizing our resources, students still receive instruction from highly qualified teachers in art, music, physical education, and library. Opportunities exist before, during and after school, including community theater, competitive sports, intramurals, enrichment in math, science and language arts and real world problem solving.

Education is an ever-evolving profession and research continues to develop more effective teaching methods for engaging all students. These innovations lead us to change the way we operate our schools and we will continue to change and respond. The goal is always to provide a well-rounded education for every student who walks through our doors.

• Dr. David K. Schauer is superintendent of the Kyrene School District.

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