Recommendation Four:  

Create school processes and infrastructure that are responsive to teacher concerns about time and other impediments that limit available time to meet the educational needs of all students (class size and student loads). 



Role Group Strategies:

Reduce overall student loads of teachers through block scheduling, in which teachers spend a longer amount of time per day with a smaller amount of students.

One School’s First Step: Changing the Schedule to Get the Numbers Down
Kushman, Kathleen. (1991). Horace 7.5.
Without lengthening the school day or year, Iroquois High School rearranged its schedule so that teachers see fewer students and spend more time teaching.  The schedule consists of three 100 minute blocks and one 70 minute lunch and activity period.  Classes that would normally last one year are compressed into one semester with the longer block periods. The article includes a sample schedule and compares it to a traditional schedule.

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, which offer smaller class sizes, more time for collaborative planning, and more opportunity for teachers to work individually with students.  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. 

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 contains 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, however, that without teacher 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. 


If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us at

data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource