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  • 1. Building an Effective Master Bell Schedule May 21, 2009 EDG 644 Instructional Leadership
  • 2. Presentation Task
    • As an instructional leader, what schedule would you select to best deliver instruction in your building?
    • Give reasons why you would select that type of schedule and how you would implement it.
  • 3. Presentation Agenda
    • Scheduling 101
      • Analyzing and Comparing the Most Common High School Scheduling Formats
    • Cooperative Group Activity
      • Survey / Likes / Dislikes / King or Queen for the Day
    • Optimum (Best Possible) Bell Schedule
    • Implementation
    • Possible Schedule Building Obstacles / Constraints
    • Question and Answer Session
  • 4. Scheduling 101
  • 5. What is a Schedule?
    • Generally, a schedule is defined as a plan of procedure, usually written, for a proposed objective, especially with reference to the sequence of time allotted for each item or operation necessary to its completion.
    • The purpose of a master schedule is to arrange the allotted time, staff, students, and physical resources together so that optimum learning will take place.
  • 6. Scheduling Options
    • Within education circles, class schedules are defined as being either “traditional” or “block.”
  • 7. The Traditional Schedule
    • A traditional schedule contains six to eight periods of equal length spread across the school day.
    • This schedule repeats daily.
    • Each period lasts 45-55 minutes.
    • Homeroom is not generally considered a class period - lunch may be.
    • Up to eight courses may be taken across the year.
  • 8. Example - UDHS Bell Schedule
    • Period Time
    • HR 7:28 – 7:34
    • 1 st 7:38 – 8:26
    • 2 nd 8:30 – 9:18
    • 3 rd 9:22 – 10:10
    • 4 th 10:14 – 11:44
    • (A,B,C lunch)
    • 5 th 11:48 – 12:36
    • 6 th 12:40 – 1:28
    • 7 th 1:32 – 2:20
  • 9. Block Schedules
    • Anything other than a traditional design is referred to as a block schedule.
    • Block scheduling organizes the day into fewer, but longer, class periods to allow flexibility for instructional activities
  • 10. Within the block schedule group, a diverse array of configurations exist
    • 4 X 4 Blocks
    • A/B or Alternating Day Plans
    • Copernican I
    • Copernican II
    • Trimester
    • 75-75-30 plans
  • 11. Block Schedule: Basic 4 X 4
    • The Basic 4 X 4 plan contains four equal periods per day and allows for 80 to 90 minute classes. The school year follows a university model and divides the year into two semesters.
    • Eight courses may be taken across the school year.
    Sem. 1 Sem. 2 Block 1 Class 1 Class 2 Block 2 Class 3 Class 4 Block 3 Class 5 Class 6 Block 4 Class 7 Class 8
  • 12. Block Schedule: Alternate Day or A/B
    • The Alternate Day or A/B scheduling offers four equal length periods of 90 minutes.
    • Synonyms for this option include: Alternative Block, Odd/Even, and Day 1/Day 2 plans.
    • Courses are taken for an entire year, with alternating schedules each day.
    • Eight courses may be taken across the year.
    A Day B Day Block 1 Class 1 Class 2 Block 2 Class 3 Class 4 Block 3 Class 5 Class 6 Block 4 Class 7 Class 8
  • 13. 7 A/B Schedule M T W R F Block 1 (100) 1 2 1 2 1 2 Block 2 (100) 3 4 3 4 3 4 Block 3 (82) 5 and Lunch 5 and Lunch 5 and Lunch 5 and Lunch 5 and Lunch Block 4 (100) 7 6 7 6 6 7
  • 14. Block Schedule: Trimester Plans (+)
    • Trimester plans divide the year into three sections. In the straightforward trimester plan, two or three core courses are taken daily in large blocks of time. Three times a year (every 60 days), new courses are begun. Students may complete six to nine courses across the year under this configuration.
    • The Copernican I plan involves one 4-hour long period and 2 -3 shorter periods. Students and teachers start new schedules each month.
    • The Copernican II plan, on the other hand, involves two 2-hour long periods plus 2 – 3 short periods. Students and teachers begin a new schedule every 60 days.
    • The 75-75-30 plan allows students to take three classes each for two 75 day terms, followed by a 30 day intensive course or enrichment. In this manner, seven or eight courses can be taken across the year.
  • 15. Cooperative Group Activity Survey / Likes / Dislikes / King or Queen for the Day
  • 16. Optimum Bell Schedule Hybrid Block
  • 17. 8 Period Days (Monday / Wednesday / Friday)
    • Begin End
    • Homeroom 7:30 7:43
    • Period 1 7:48 8:29
    • Period 2 8:34 9:15
    • Period 3 9:20 10:01
    • Period 4 10:06 10:47
    • A Lunch 10:52 11:22
    • Period 5 11:27 11:33
    • B Lunch 11:38 12:08
    • Period 6 12:13 12:19
    • C Lunch 12:24 12:54
    • Period 7 12:59 1:40
    • Period 8 1:45 2:26
    Period 6 C (12:13 – 12:54) Period 5 B (11:27 – 12:08) A Lunch (10:52 – 11:22) Period 6 C (12:13 – 12:54) B Lunch (11:38 – 12:08) Period A5 (10:52 – 11:33) C Lunch (12:24 – 12:54) Period B 6 (11:38 – 12:19) Period A 5 (10:52 – 11:33)
  • 18. 8 Period Days (Monday / Wednesday / Friday)
    • Notes:
      • Traditional Schedule
      • 13 Minute Homeroom
      • 41 Minute Periods
      • 30 Minute Lunch Periods
        • On 8 period days, lunch is assigned and appears on student schedules.
      • 5 Minute Passing Time Between Classes
  • 19. 4 Period Days (Tuesday / Thursday) Enhancement Days (Option A)
    • Begin End
    • Homeroom 7:30 7:43
    • Block 1 or 5 7:48 9:04
    • Block 2 or 6 9:09 10:25
    • Enhancement 10:30 11:10
    • Block 4 or 8 1:10 2:26
    C Lunch (12:35 – 1:05) Period 3 or 7 (12:27 – 1:05) B Lunch (11:55 – 12:25) Period 3 or 7 (11:49 – 1:05) Period 3 or 7 (11:15 – 12:31) Period 3 or 7 (1) (11:15 – 11:53) A Lunch (11:15 – 11:45)
  • 20. 4 Period Days (Tuesday / Thursday) Enhancement Days (Option A)
    • Notes:
      • 76 Minute Block Periods
      • 40 Minute Enhancement Period
      • 30 Minute Lunch Periods
        • On 4 period days, lunch is assigned and appears on student schedules.
      • 5 Minute Passing Time Between Classes
  • 21. 4 Period Days (Tuesday / Thursday) Enhancement Days (Option B)
    • Begin End
    • HR 7:35 7:44
    • Block 1 or 2 7:48 9:08
    • EP 9:13 9:38
    • Block 3 or 4 9:43 11:03
    • A Lunch 11:08 11:38
    • Block 5 or 6 11:42 11:46
    • B Lunch 11:50 12:20
    • 12:24 12:28
    • C Lunch 12:32 1:02
    • Block 7 or 8 1:07 2:27
    Block 5 or 6 (11:42 – 1:02) A Lunch (11:08 – 11:38) B Lunch (11:50 – 12:20) Block 5 or 6 (2) (12:24 – 1:02) Block 5 or 6 (1) (11:08 -11:46) C Lunch (12:32 – 1:02) Block 5 or 6 (11:08 – 12:28)
  • 22. 4 Period Days (Tuesday / Thursday) Enhancement Days (Option B)
    • Notes:
      • 80 Minute Block Periods
      • 25 Minute Enhancement Period
      • 30 Minute Lunch Periods
        • On 4 period days, lunch is assigned and appears on student schedules.
      • 5 Minute Passing Time Between Classes
  • 23. Enhancement Period Options
      • Remediation Period
      • Enrichment Period
      • Advisory Period
      • Collaboration Time
      • Double Lab Period
      • Mentor Program
      • Career Program
      • Assemblies
      • Class / SGA / NHS Meetings
      • Department / Faculty Meetings
  • 24. Key Factors: Enhancement Periods
    • Scheduling the enhancement period is easy compared to organizing and preparing for instruction within it.
    • All students and staff must be productively engaged during the enhancement period.
    • A decision must be made as to what role students’ choice plays in the enhancement period.
    • A computer management program with capability of tracking students’ enhancement choice/assignment and attendance is necessary.
    • Clear, consistent, and involved leadership is required to ensure that assessment, data analysis, planning intervention, enrichment instruction, remediation and progress monitoring all are carried through.
    • Time must be allocated for planning for groupings and instructional activities.
  • 25. Key Factors: Enhancement Periods Cont…
    • It may be wise to select specific programs for enhancement activities rather than have teachers design their own.
    • An Response to Intervention (RTI) type tier structure based upon this assessment is necessary to allocate students to enrichment, moderate intervention and intensive intervention groups.
    • A decision must be made as to whether or not special services (i.e. special education or ESL) will be “the” intervention for some qualifying students during the enhancement time or will they be served at a different time by those professionals.
    • While some school-wide, grade level, or team activities (assemblies, pep rallies, school pictures, guidance meetings, course registration, seminars, etc.), may use some of this period, the primary purpose for enhancement must be extended learning time, re-teaching, re-testing, tutoring, etc.
  • 26. Reasons to Explore Hybrid Model
    • Hybrid block schedules offer more flexibility.
      • Open periods - enhancement periods (alt. names)
    • Hybrid block schedules offer the potential for deeper learning.
      • Students need opportunities to experience classes for more than 55 minutes.
      • Longer classes encourage teaching with a variety of instructional models.
      • Time for students to build connections (higher level thinking) among topics
      • Extended exploration and time for projects.
  • 27. Reasons to Explore Hybrid Model Cont…
    • Students will have more opportunities to enroll in courses in electives and world languages.
    • Greater potential to increase performance on state tests – PSSA.
      • Remediation / Enrichment
    • Greater potential to increase students’ overall academic performance.
      • Remediation / Enrichment
    • Teachers will gain important planning and collaboration time and over time with quality staff development, teachers change teaching behaviors
  • 28. Reasons to Explore Hybrid Model Cont…
    • School Culture May Improve
      • The number of discipline referrals to the office is reduced.
      • The number of class tardies is reduced.
      • The school day becomes less stressful for both students and teachers. there tends to be less lecture and more active student engagement during classes.
  • 29. Implementation – Steps
    • Establish an Implementation Plan
      • Set clear goals and measurable objectives
      • ONE – TWO Year Process
    • Involve ALL Stakeholders (Value Input)
      • Board Members, Administrators, Teachers, Support Staff, Students, Parents, Union
      • Establish a Scheduling Committee / Subcommittees
    • Examine Strengths and Weaknesses of the Existing Schedule
      • Wants? / Needs?
  • 30. Steps Cont…
    • Conduct a Complete Study
      • Read and do research
      • Visit other schools
      • Build a mock master schedule
      • Create sample teacher and student schedules
      • Address benefits for both students and teachers
  • 31. Steps Cont…
    • Plan, Plan, Plan
      • Create pacing guides
      • Change school policies to be in line with the new schedule
      • Provide teachers with sufficient training time (staff development assistance)
      • Consider a variety of educational and performance indicators
  • 32. Steps Cont…
    • Create a Well-Constructed Schedule
      • Balance teams academically
      • Create chunks of useable and beneficial time
      • Make sure students can take ______ “because of the schedule”
  • 33. Steps Cont…
    • Commit to long-term implementation (minimum 3 – 4 years)
    • Invest significantly in the professional development of teachers
    • Provide for regular evaluations and performance indicators
  • 34. Schedule Building Constraints / Obstacles
    • Curriculum / Instructional Emphasis
    • Size of Student Body (Class)
    • Number of Regular and Special Teachers Available
    • Availability and Number of Teacher Aides
    • Schedules of any Itinerant Teachers
    • Number of Classrooms / Teaching Stations
    • Size of Cafeteria / Length of Lunch Periods
    • Meeting Format
  • 35. Schedule Building Constraints / Obstacles Cont…
    • School Start and End Times
    • Transportation / Bus Schedules
    • Cost (Budgetary Concerns)
    • Registration of Students
    • Determine # of students registering for each course
    • Determine size of classes
    • Determine length of class periods and school day
    • Determine time between classes & homeroom period
  • 36. Schedule Building Constraints / Obstacles Cont…
    • Determine classrooms available and # student stations in each
    • Determine and Balance Student Workload (Core Classes)
    • Determine teacher certifications, qualifications, & preferences
    • Determine and Balance Teacher Workload
    • Prepare conflict sheet
    • Complete final schedule board, assignment of subjects, activities, etc. to teachers
    • Individual School Obstacles
        • UD: Eastern Tech and FLES students
  • 37. A Master Schedule is Good if:
    • Students are scheduled in classes they need to take.
    • Sufficient time is provided for teachers and students to achieve the objectives / expectations for each grade / subject.
    • Students are able to take electives they choose.
    • An appropriately equipped classroom / learning area is available for each scheduled class / teacher.
    • No wasted times is allowed between classes.
    • It is flexible enough to provide more learning time for students who need it and more choices for those who don’t need more learning time.
  • 38. Good Schedule Cont…
    • Supervision can be provided when students are not in scheduled classes (lunch, field trips, assemblies, etc.).
    • Teachers are assigned in their areas of certification and expertise.
    • Teachers have their preferred classes / grade levels.
    • Teachers have adequate planning time - especially if teaming is employed.
  • 39. Final Key Points to Ponder
    • The Master Schedule demands a command performance from the principal and / or the assistant principal.
    • It shows his/her ability (or inability) to conceptualize, to organize, and demonstrate detailed planning.
    • If done well, the master schedule will support the curricula and instructional objectives of the school.
    • If poorly done, it will be a roadblock to delivering the curriculum and a major source of frustration, particularly for teachers - and ultimately for students.
  • 40. Points to Ponder Continued . . .
    • Since the schedule usually remains fixed for the year, a poorly made schedule will have a detrimental impact on the total school program.
    • The effective schools research has shown that actual and “engaged” learning time is imperative for student learning.
    • The master schedule is the most important tool to make maximum use of time, staff, space, and instructional resources.
  • 41. Concluding Quote
    • “ [Our] students will have their best chance at success when they are no longer serving time, but when time is serving them.”
    • (National Education Commission on Time and Learning, 1994/2005)

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