Recommendation One:

Structure the school day to allow sufficient time for direct planning, productive collaboration with colleagues, and overlapping time for mentors and mentees, all embedded within the school day.


Role Group Strategies:

Consider using larger blocks of instructional time, which also allow for longer planning periods.

Reinventing High School: The Coalition Campus Schools Project
Darling-Hammond, L., Ancess, J., and S. Wichterle Ort. (2002) American Educational Research Journal 39. 3. 639-673.

The authors document the efforts of the Coalition Campus Schools Project to create smaller, more communal schools in response to the failures of comprehensive high schools.  The project replaced two large comprehensive schools with 11 small schools.  This article focuses on the reform project at Julia Richman High School in New York City; it highlights school designs, successes, challenges, and issues for district restructuring. These schools offer smaller class sizes, at least a two-hour block of collaborative planning time weekly, and more opportunities for teachers to work individually with students.

Target Time Toward Teachers
Darling-Hammond, Linda. (1999). Journal of Staff Development, 20, (2), p. 31-36.
The article addresses the need to reorganize teachers’ time to allow for planning, collaboration and provides samples for rethinking schedules from International High School and Central Park East Secondary School in New York City.  At International High School students have 70 minute class periods, and teachers on interdisciplinary teams share 70 minutes of planning time daily.

Gustav A. Fritsche Middle School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This school’s website provides detailed information on their use of block scheduling. It lists observed benefits in terms of school climate, classroom issues, and curriculum, and provides a comparison of time on task under the block schedule and under a traditional schedule. The site also includes a detailed profile of the school’s demographics and a four-year timeline that outlines the process of fully implementing block scheduling at the school. Scheduling grids for each grade during the 2004-2005 school year are also available.

Scheduling Alternatives: Options for Student Success
Fager, Jennifer. (1997). Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.
This is an online version of a booklet exploring block scheduling, four-day school weeks and year-round school.  For each of the three areas, the authors explain the potential benefits of that system, some concerns, and ideas for successful implementation.  The booklet includes specific examples of schools that have moved to block scheduling, a four year school week, or year round school.  Each example lists contact information, program information, observed outcomes, and keys to success.

Using Time Well: Schedules in Essential Schools
Kushman, Kathleen. (1995). Horace 12. 2.
The author discusses the rationale for block scheduling and what is necessary for its implementation.  She emphasizes that without common teacher time and good professional development, long blocks of class time will not produce greater student achievement.  The report includes sample schedules from schools using a variety of approaches. 

Give teachers a common lunch period followed by shared planning time daily.

Rethinking the Allocation of Teaching Resources: Some Lessons from High-Performing Schools 
Hawley Miles, Karen and Linda Darling-Hammond. (1998) Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 20.1 p. 9-29.
The study looks at five high-performing schools that have redesigned the way they allocate teaching resources.  The article gives concrete ways to reorganize teacher time and identifies six principles of resource allocation among the five schools. Suggestions include combining lunch periods with common planning time. For example, Lyons School gave teachers a common lunch period followed by one hour and 15 minutes of common planning time.

Treating teachers as professionals. 
Curtis, D.  (2000). Edutopia Online.
This article highlights Sherman Oaks Community Charter School, where teachers participate in daily conversations for 90 minutes while students have lunch, a study hall, and a recreation period supervised by community volunteers. Conversations focus on professional development, instructional methods, curriculum, and problem-solving for specific classroom situations.

Rethinking School Resources
Hawley Miles, Karen. District Issues Brief. New American Schools.
Based on her experiences with New American Schools, Karen Hawley Miles writes that schools need more resources to provide common time for teachers to work and learn together. She insists that teachers need time periods longer than 45 minutes to accomplish this work and suggests five ways that schools could create that time. Additionally, she provides recommendations of what districts can do to help schools create time and reports on the tradeoffs or challenges that accompany each strategy.

Think Outside the Clock: Create Time for Professional Learning. 
Richardson, Joan. (2002). National Staff Development Council.
This article suggests strategies for creating time for professional development and describes a variety of approaches already taken by specific schools and districts.  The author suggests “banking” time by lengthening the school day, “buying” time by hiring more teachers or substitute teachers, creating common planning time, and adding professional days to the school year.

Trying to Beat the Clock: Uses of Teacher Professional Time in Three Countries
Adelman, Nancy. (1998). U.S. Department of Education.

This report compares the school structures and use of time in the United States, Japan, and Germany.  The study found that in both Japanese schools and innovative American schools, teachers have long blocks of planning time, either after the school day or in conjunction with the lunch period.  The study generally looks at teacher time with and without students, on-the-clock professional time, and off-the-clock time.

Use substitute teachers to cover class time. Value and include these substitutes as key members of the school community.

Finding Time for Faculties to Study Together
Murphy, C. (Summer 1997) Journal of Staff Development v.18 n.3
Carleen Murphy provides an extensive list of options used by different schools to create time for teachers to meet in “study groups.” Sample strategies include early release, late start, hiring substitutes, and involving parents or business partners in special activities.

Making Time for Adult Learning
Pardini, P. (Spring 1999) Journal of Staff Development
This article highlights different methods used by eight schools across the country to create time for teacher collaboration. Strategies include early release, involving students in community service projects, allowing paraprofessionals to cover classes for a limited period of time, and reassessing how faculty meeting time is currently used. The author provides contact information for each of the profiled schools.

Think Outside the Clock: Create Time for Professional Learning. 
Richardson, Joan. (2002). National Staff Development Council.
This article suggests strategies for creating time for professional development and describes a variety of approaches already taken by specific schools and districts.  Under “Schools that have Found Time,” the author describes how Madison Park School in Phoenix, AZ, uses two full-time substitutes to provide release time so that teachers can collaborate, do  professional development, or work with master teachers.

Winning the Substitute Game
District Administration. (2004).
This article provides strategies for attracting and retaining quality substitutes.  The authors concentrate on the challenges and concerns of substitute teachers themselves.

How Can Schools Make Time for Teacher Learning?  
Sparks, Dennis. (1999) Results.
This brief article summarizes approaches to creating time for teacher learning and collaboration, which the National Staff Development Council believes should constitute at least one-quarter of a teacher's work time.  Recommended approaches include using substitutes to free teachers, using faculty meetings for teacher learning, and lengthening the school day four days a week with early release on the fifth. 


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