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National Academy Foundation Taming the Master Schedule. Patricia Clark CASN - Career Academy Support Network/ U.C. Berkeley Mike Neubig Capture Educational Consulting Services. Why the National Academy Foundation is emphasizing Academy master scheduling Your facilitators.
National Academy FoundationTaming the Master Schedule Patricia Clark CASN - Career Academy Support Network/ U.C. Berkeley Mike Neubig Capture Educational Consulting Services
Why the National Academy Foundation is emphasizing Academy master scheduling Your facilitators Who are you? Title/role Location Experience - Workshop Learning Goal Or: Amount of torn hair? Level of blood pressure? Drinking problems? OR scheduling bliss? Welcome!
Webinar Objectives • To increase our knowledge and understanding of the importance of effective master schedule in supporting student learning, equity, achievement, and personalization. • To learn more about the Stages and Steps of the Master Scheduling Process and related best practices.
Webinar Objectives • To explore issues and solutions related to successful Master Scheduling of Academies • To increase our own expertise, efficiency, and effectiveness in building a successful Master Schedule
Lack of connections Among subjects Among students Among teachers The silo approach English Math Social studies Science SLCs provide: Subject connections Student connections Teacher connections Academies add: Links outside school Links to the future – college and careers Why is scheduling so important?
Why is Scheduling so Important ? • Fundamental need of SLC/Academy/House • Scheduling problems = Most frequent problem/ complaint • If scheduling is done badly, the results cause teacher frustration • Not to mention frustration for students & parents • Master Scheduling is hard to do well -- scheduling is a complicated process • Bottom line: It is possible
Why is scheduling so challenging? • Scheduling is an inherently complex process • Many factors to incorporate • See the “dirty dozen” or “Constraints & Opportunities” • SLCs/ Academies add two new complexities: • Student “cohort” scheduling • Teacher common planning
Smaller Learning Community “…an environment in which a core group of teachers and other adults within the school know the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitor his or her progress, and provide the academic and other support he or she needs to succeed.” (U.S. Education Department)
Career Academy • College preparatory curriculum organized around a career theme • Small Learning Community - a team of teachers working with a group of students over time (sense of family) • Partnerships with Business, Postsecondary, and Community
Guiding Principles for Scheduling • A commitment to a student-centered, learning-centered master schedule which supports achievement and equity. • A commitment to a schedule which furthers rigor, relevance, and relationships. • A master schedule building process that is open, transparent, and collaborative.
Guiding Principles (continued) • A master schedule team that is empowered to make decisions, but also involves all stakeholders in coming to consensus on scheduling principles and priorities. • A commitment to a schedule that ensures equal access to challenging curriculum, heterogeneous SLCs/Academies, and flexibility for improved instruction.
Who needs to be involved?Minimally- • An administrator who can make decisions about courses to be offered and teacher assignments. • A counselor who meets with students and knows graduation and college entrance requirements. • Non-teaching staff to support student course selection and data entry
Who needs to be involved….(continued) • Teachers from one or more Academies/ SLCs/Houses who have an interest in the success of personalized programs (for all students) • Representative from other key stakeholder group (s). This might include a student representative, a parent from the School Site Council, etc.
The Stages of Master Scheduling • Planning • Student Course Selection & Tallies • Building the Master Schedule • Analysis and Adjustment • Assessment and Refinement
Stage 1: Planning • Assemble a Master Schedule Team • Establish a set of Guiding Principles, Priorities, and (possibly) non-negotiables. • Identify and address any scheduling opportunities, needs, or constraints • Dialogue/Communicate about the master schedule plan and process with faculty, staff & other stakeholders
Stage 1: Planning (continued) • Develop and disseminate a Master Scheduling Process and Timeline (who/what/when/as measured by) • Review/Update Curriculum and Determine Course (& SLC) offerings • Develop SLC /course selection/registration packet Recommendations: Involve students, parents, district representatives, and the teachers’ union early in the process. Create charts and other visual representatives.
Sidebar: Some Academy/ SLC Planning Issues • Will all students be in Academy? • Will each Academy have its own curriculum? Will all Academies have some common curriculum? • Will Academies be restricted by grade level? Other parameters? (establishing course numbers unique to each Academy) • What specific courses (required, elective, or both) will students take in the Academy? Outside the Academy?
Sidebar: Some SLC Planning Issues (continued) • Will certain courses be offered in several different Academies? (example: If World Cultures is offered in several different Academies, there will likely be a need to offer a different course number or subscript for each Academy-specific World Cultures section.) • Will some Academy courses be open to students from other Academies? (example: AP Biology in a Health Academy) • Will Academy Teacher Teams share a common planning period?
Stage 2: Student Course/ Academy/SLC Selection &Tallies • Distribute course (and Academy) selection/registration packet • Make presentations to students/parents • Complete student registration/course & Academy selection • accuracy is critical • student/counselor/parent/teacher should edit/ proof; check re graduation/college requirements • Verification to student/parent (provides window for consultation and adjustment)
Course/Academy Selection & Tallies • Double check everything • Finalize student Academy/course tallies & lists • Assure that each Academy reflects the diversity of the school as a whole (use of data, policies) • Determine final course offerings and the actual number of course sections to be offered • Print final course tallies and conflict matrix
Course/Academy Selection & Tallies • Determine resource needs & review assignments (decide when to assign teachers and rooms to course sections, etc.) • Prepare Schedule Board/s, section chips, and your “game plan” (order of placing sections)
An Academy Sidebar You need to take care to determine: • The courses that will be Academy/SLC specific at each grade level • The percentage of the student day that will be spent in Academy/SLC specific courses • The number of teachers needed on each Academy/SLC to support Academy enrollment
Stage 3:Master Schedule Construction • The extent of prior planning and the accuracy of student information has much to do with success of construction. • Important Principles for Construction: • Equal access to challenging curriculum for ALL students. • Heterogeneous Academies/SLCs- NOT separate honors, low level, special education, ELL, etc.
Stage 3: Master Schedule Construction (continued) • Cohort scheduling of “pure” communities of students with TEAMS of teachers. • SLC/Academy enrollment is guiding force for teacher selection and assignment. • SLC cohorts and/or academies MUST be scheduled first (or in conjunction with singletons) and their integrity maintained throughout the process.
Steps for Successful Construction • Always refer back to priorities set forth by the school & the scheduling team. • Following the PDSA cycle- Plan, Do, Study, Act. (Maintain scheduling history/ scheduling data over time.) • Step 1- Have a large visual of the schedule available to all key stakeholders. (Magnetic OR foam board works well)
Steps for Successful Construction • Step 2- Analyze building and plan for close proximity of SLCs/Academies • Step 3- Lay out SLC/ Academy blocks, according to course tallies, without teacher names first. (This ensures focus on student centered schedule; teacher names added later).
Steps for Successful Construction • Step 4- Place singleton courses and identify conflicts and other constraints (see “Dirty Dozen”) that will possibly break down SLC “purity” for teachers and students. • Step 5- Make adjustments to SLC/Academy schedules and balance courses. (Conflict matrix helpful)
Steps in Successful Construction • Step 6 - Follow process to gain teacher input on SLC/Academy course assignment prior to placing teachers.
Dealing with Constraints • “The Dirty Dozen” (see Scheduling Guide) - Comprehensive list • Discussion/ Questions/ Clarification • Singleton courses - band, choir, orchestra, other electives • Room assignments • Lunch/study halls
Dealing with Constraints • Various course levels • Transferring students • Enrollment Numbers- Section Allocation • Teacher Certifications • Room Usage
Dealing with Constraints • Building Layout • Union Issues/ Pupil Contact Time • Specialized student programs (Vocational Education, Special Education, English Language Learners) • ALL = Why Scheduling is a challenge for schools implementing wall-to-wall Academies. KEEP IN MIND: a) ACADEMIES PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES and b) EFFECTIVE MASTER SCHEDULING IS POSSIBLE.
Some answers during construction-Removing the Roadblocks for electives • Creation of “Elective Lane”- Choosing to place all possible high enrollment elective courses into the exact same class period, while not having any core Academy classes scheduled during that time slot.
Removing the Roadblocks for Honors/ AP Courses • Removing the differentiation in courses between honors and regular and contracting for honors grades within one course. • Creating more sections of AP/IB - less of regular; increasing student access to AP/IB; Increasing expectations that more Academy students take rigorous course/s; embedding pre-AP/IB curriculum; adding AP/IB seminars/support classes.
Removing roadblocks (continued) • Sharing teachers across academies for singleton honors courses.
Removing the Roadblocks by Offering All Course Levels • Creating equality and equal access to all SLCs by having ALL course levels available in each SLC/Academy. • Often requires teachers to teach multiple course levels within the SLC.
Successful Construction Example: 10th Grade Academy Cohorts7- Period Day
Additional guiding principle to construction- Using Flexible Time • The schedule provides access to improved instruction. The addition of the Flexible Block. • Always think: innovation for time with students
Using “flexible” time • An uninterrupted period in which a team of teachers instruct a “pure,” common set of Academy students. • Power is in teacher autonomy and access to alternate student groupings.
Flexible Grouping Techniques • Random • Achievement • Cooperative • Task • Knowledge of Subject • Skill/Strategy • Student Choice/Interest
Stage 4:Analysis and Adjustment • Run Scheduler- identify percentage of success • Important to shift student groups to balance numbers across SLCs, BUT equal access and heterogeneous groupings must be maintained. • SLC teacher teams can offer key input at this stage as to what would improve their ability to instruct and plan.
Stage 4: Analyze & Adjustment (cont.) • Balancing teams and maintaining purity changes how student conflicts are fixed. • Students are often moved across cohorts to fix a conflict instead of individual courses being changed. • Important to visually identify where shortages and “cross-overs” are for academy specific teachers.
Stage 4:Analysis and Adjustment • The goals of the Analysis, Adjustment, & Distribution of Schedules: • To complete a final analysis • To distribute the schedules • To make any further adjustments as needed • Year to year Tracking of Needs in process important!
Stage 5: Assessment & Refinement • Do you remember the first year you taught? That is probably about where you are now • Do you remember your fifth or tenth year of teaching? That is where you can get to