Monday, August 24, 2015

17 yr Schedule Shift...

I just wrapped up a project with another school to help them analyze their master schedule. 

They have a 730am start time for students and end the academic day ends at 230pm. 

Two years of data showed that 37% of students in the school report in late in the morning... each week. Adjustments have been made to increase staff to handle these attendance issues. 

After a little analysis... just over 30% of students have commute times over 1 hour. 

Teachers routinely (90%) reported students are sluggish and unmotivated in the mornings. 

So... we took a preliminary, test the waters kind of poll on the current school schedule. 97% of the students wanted the school day to start later. We brought forth a lot of evidence that says that later start times are tremendously beneficial to adolescents. But we went further.

More polling revealed 94% of parents / guardians wanted school to start later. 

59% of the adults working in the building wanted school to start later. The number one reason the adults working in the school liked the early start time was... the 230pm dismissal time.

After a bit more analysis... I discovered they've had the same schedule, and the same lateness and truancy problems for 17 years. The schedule was changed 17 years ago, so I learned, to accommodate bus run synchronization with another district school. Turns out, the busing problem doesn't actually exist any longer as the district switched from their own busing to a transportation company 8 years ago.

Over the past 17 years, according to seven veteran teachers I spoke with, the school has had five principals and 6 committees - best they can remember- to analyze the school schedule. No changes were made during this 17 year period.


After the surveying and data analysis, discussions started in April, 2015. Based on feedback we solicited, I suggested starting school at 830am and ending at 3pm as a first step. 

We polled students, parents, and adults in school on the new start time. 96% overall were in favor of the change. 

In early May 2015 the administration and school board felt that changing the school schedule for the coming Fall (2015-2016) would be too disruptive and are 'considering a change' for the coming Fall semester in 2016-2017.

Slow growth, yes.... but if it changes, at least it's growth.

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