Time is one of the most valuable resources in our schools. We often think of time and schedules as fixed, but what happens when we shift our mindsets so that learning becomes the constant and time becomes the variable? Scheduling is an essential tool that, when used effectively, can break down traditional structures and improve learning outcomes for students.
There are many assumptions we make about what can and cannot be done with scheduling, so we need to start by challenging those assumptions. We also need to acknowledge that the current systems being used for scheduling are built to support these traditional structures and might be a barrier, so we need to be open to using additional systems or tools to achieve our desired schedules.
So how do we get started rethinking the master schedule? Of course, let’s start by asking ourselves, “Why?” Why is our daily schedule made up of seven or eight 42-minute periods? Why do we assign our students their courses based on grade levels? Why do we silo content in individual courses or by grade?
What and who drives the design of your master schedule?