Elementary School Scheduling
Elementary School Scheduling issues include:
(1.) Time allocation, (2.) Fragmentation: Causes? Encore, and special services schedules, (3.) Time for intervention, enrichment, and special services, therefore… (4.) Common planning time for data analysis, curriculum management, instructional improvement, staff development
Elementary School Scheduling goals should include:
- To provide consistency in the elementary instructional day and in the implementation
of the district curriculum
- To protect instructional time for the optimal delivery of both core and encore curricula
- To provide time for special services (SPED, ESOL, etc.), intervention and enrichment
programs within the school day that supports core instruction and accountability requirements
- To provide daily grade-level planning time for all teachers
There's No Such Thing As Intervening Too Early.
The early elementary school years are critical to building a foundation for academic success. Intervention must occur often and early if needed to ensure students are making one or more year's worth of academic growth in each school year. For many students, we must work to exceed growth expectations to help students catch up. Research shows students from high-poverty, low-SES backgrounds that read one or more levels below grade level and have been retained have near "0" probability of graduating high school.
Elementary School Master Schedule development steps include:
1. Form a scheduling committee that includes grade level representatives, an encore
representative, and special service providers. It helps if several committee members have the “scheduling gene.”
2. Determine time allocations for all subjects/grade levels including academic time, time for encore, the number and length of Intervention/Enrichment periods, and lunch/recess.
3. Determine the encore rotation. Consider personnel shared between/among buildings.
4. Consider your special service providers (special education, ESOL, Title 1, gifted, instrumental music, etc.) that are shared across multiple grade levels and devise a plan which specifies the amount of time they will spend in each aspect of their deployment. Place a line on the schedule for each provider.
5. Begin scheduling encore blocks.
6. Begin to schedule academic blocks for grade levels in tandem with scheduling their special service providers working from the most restrictive to the least restrictive scheduling requirements. Start with the most restrictive situation (i.e a departmentalized grade, a special program requirement, a special education teacher shared in two or more grades).
7. Schedule intervention/enrichment (I/E) blocks as part of Step 6.
8. Schedule lunch/recess as part of Step 6.
9. Steps 5-8 are completed with the “Goals” in mind, moving back and forth through the steps until the “best” schedule is created. (The order of steps 5-8 often must be changed; creating the schedule is less linear than one would think.
Departmentalization in Upper Elementary Grades: Key Considerations
- The departmentalization plan should reflect the desired time allocations.
- The departmentalization plan should capitalize on the strengths of teachers and minimize their weaknesses.
- Rotated subjects must be provided equal time blocks.
- The encore block, I/E period, lunch and recess, and any self-contained aspects of the schedule must be placed strategically to create equal time blocks required for the particular plan.
Examples of Elementary School Schedules The schedule must align with the needs of your students, reduce fragmentation and protect core instructional time, provide additional instructional time for students needing extra support, align appropriate with strategic staff and strategic resourcing, provide common planning and professional learning communities time to analyze students’ data and plan for remediation/enrichment, and be purposeful in helping the school to achieve it's mission/vision
Parallel Block Schedule
405 Minute Master Schedule
Master Schedule with Inclusion
Encore Master Schedule
Master Schedule with I/E and PD Blocks
2 Teacher Teams
3 Teacher Teams
4 Teacher Teams
Master Schedule Considerations for PLCs:
- Common Planning Time
- Common Teaching Time
- Common Time for Intervention and Enrichment
- Support Schedules Coordinated with the General Education Program (Inclusion, Intervention, & Planning)
- Occasional Extended PLC professional development time during the school day.
Elementary School Intervention/Enrichment Blocks
Schoolwide - 1st block
Schoolwide Embedded I/E Blocks Throughout Daily Schedule
Grade Level I/E Blocks
Team Based I/E Blocks