ASFM Scheduling Project

ASFM Scheduling PLC Project

In 2014-15, I worked with a Professional Learning Community of teachers at ASFM to research bell schedule models and propose a new bell schedule for our middle school and high school. We were proud to recommend a new bell schedule that ASFM adopted for the 2015-16 school year. To summarize this process, this page combines our PLC’s work – data we collected, research we conducted and proposals we made – with my own personal reflections from throughout the year. Links in bold font are important milestones in the project.

Exploratory research

As a group, we researched several different bell schedule models, from moderate changes such as modified block schedules to radical shifts like flexible modular schedules. As part of this research I travelled to several schools in Wisconsin and Colorado in January 2015 to observe different schedule models in action.

Intro to schedule models A summary of some of the models we researched to introduce ourselves to school bell scheduling.
Block scheduling My thoughts on block school schedules, after a visit to schools in Colorado with block and modified-block schedules.
Flex Mod reflection (part 1) A reflection on a visit to schools in Wisconsin running a flexible modular schedule.
Flex Mod reflection (part 2) The second part of my reflection on flexible modular scheduling.
Research summary

A presentation to staff summarizing our research and the various possible bell schedule options. (50 min, YouTube video)

Schedule model development

As we developed a sense of how schedule models could impact a school’s learning environment, we surveyed teachers at ASFM to determine the scheduling needs particular to our school. We refined this data to identify the top needs, and started to generate models of potential schedules for ASFM.

Teacher needs survey A visualization of the data provided by our first teacher needs survey, showing the relative importance of various needs. This data was used to produce a list of the top 12 schedule needs for ASFM.
Our evaluation of alternative models Fact sheets on alternative models we prepared for an ASFM PLC “share-out”, including evaluations of the models against our 12 criteria.
Teacher evaluation of current schedule Results of the survey in which we asked teachers how well the current schedule and a proposed schedule met the top 12 needs. (Google Sheet)
Trial schedule models Some of the many trial-balloon schedule models we discussed, once we had narrowed our focus to a modified-block bell schedule. (Google Drive folder)
Our pilot proposal MS bellsOur proposal to the ASFM Administration for a pilot week of our new schedule. (11 pages, PDF)

Piloting a new schedule

Our new schedule pilot was approved for April 20-24, 2015, so we moved ahead to determine the logistics and prepare the school for Pilot Week. During and after the pilot we gathered as data from students, teachers and parents, both on their general approval of the schedule change and on several specific points where we could make changes to the final schedule. Finally, we presented a proposal to Administration who chose from our three options to select the bell schedule for 2015-16.

Staff shared info folder The Drive folder we shared with staff to keep them informed on the logistics of Pilot Week. Student-sensitive information has been removed.
Pilot Week survey data The full results of our pilot week surveys, visualized through Google Charts.
PLC Proposal to Admin Our final proposal for the 2015-16 bell schedule, giving a summary of pilot week survey data and outlining three potential options. (21 pages, PDF)

The final result

In our last meeting with administration, our proposal was adopted as the official bell schedule for 2015-16! Although we didn’t get our preferred choice due to logistical constraints, we were still proud of our work and looking forward to the schedule next year. To wrap up our project, we put out one final survey on how teachers felt about the process of schedule change.

Schedule Fact Sheet The informational document we distributed to teachers to announce the official new schedule. (4 pages, PDF) The website ASFM used to announce the new schedule to the school community. Available in English and Spanish.
Process survey results Results of the survey where we asked teachers about the process of schedule change.
3-month-in survey results Results of the student and teacher surveys three months into the 2015-16 school year.
My final reflection A piece where I step back and reflect on the entire scheduling project, trying to elucidate my learning from this experience.