"...redesigning the school day to improve how instructional time is used."
"...the needs of the student should determine the scope of the master schedule."
"The use of multiple data points to accurately describe a learner's needs will empower the school leader to schedule students in a way that ensures all students reach their highest potential."
"...all decisions are based on student needs."This all seemed quite different from what I have previously read about rethinking the high school schedule, which was squarely based on moving the starting time back. It made me realize that if we don't review and improve how instructional time is used, all directly
related to learner needs, changing the starting time is likely irrelevant.
As the authors note, this type of systemic change takes time, and input from all stakeholders. I recently heard Julia Putnam say something to the effect that our misconception that systemic change can happen fast is what exhausts and disillusions us as educators. While within the system, how might we make change that is not "of" the system? If all schedule decisions are made based on student needs, what about the teacher whose teaching assignment drastically changes? Are we ready for the potential of making some adults uncomfortable? This quote resonated:
"Teachers are already encouraged to work in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in order to ensure the needs of students are being met....The change process has a similar aim in mind -- the student's welfare. Initially, teachers may feel worried or even apathetic to change....Keeping discussions focused on the school's mission and vision is the key to easing these concerns."While I don't endorse the authors' change process as the only one possible, or that its goals are identical to the goals of every school or district, it is steeped in the work of both Michael Fullan and Richard Elmore. And it does encourage us to ask ourselves if our current master schedule mirrors our vision, mission, and instructional focus on meeting the individual needs of all students.
Join the conversation...
What are your thoughts about entering into a change process around the high school master schedule? What might be some of the challenges?