A reader asks:
“With the economic stress most districts are facing, budget cuts are inevitable. What tips and tricks can you share in creating a master schedule that maximizes student achievement and is also efficient?”
My quick answer is that the schedules that best meet student needs are very flexible and the schedules that best meet adult needs are very inflexible. Add to that the phenomena that the further the principal is removed from the scheduling process the more inflexible the schedule becomes. Now I’m going to pass your question to the recognized top scheduling guy in the nation (no exaggeration), E. Don Brown.
Your question regarding steps and concepts of scheduling in the midst of budget cuts and district shortfalls is both easy and difficult. The easy part is the singular need to focus all scheduling planning and decisions on meeting the very best interest of students. That means putting aside the traditional concept of making as many adults (teachers and administrators) as happy as possible. The hard part is getting those same adults, those who teach, those who make schedule demands and those who actually design schedules, to accept the task and master the assignment challenge that best meet student needs. When students are the center of scheduling decisions it is amazing how much can be saved while at the same time providing the best learning environment possible for students.
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Think. Work. Achieve.