Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Brief Highlights Innovative School Schedules
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Brief Highlights Innovative School Schedules

New CAP brief highlights innovative school schedules in Lawrence, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; and Brooklyn, New York.

Washington, D.C. — Teachers in the United States spend far more time engaged in active instruction than teachers in other high-performing countries. As a result, teachers have less time to plan, collaborate and engage with peers, or meet with families. Recognizing these issues, some schools have developed innovative schedules that reimagine the use of time to improve instruction and make teaching more sustainable. A new brief from the Center for American Progress highlights several of these schedules. The brief also features two sample school schedules designed by teachers currently in the classroom.

“Great teaching requires planning, reflection, and collaboration with peers. Other high-performing countries recognize this and structure their school day to provide teachers with adequate time during the school day to develop lesson plans, observe their peers, and complete administrative responsibilities. More schools across the United States must leverage time to improve and restructure school schedules to improve teaching and learning,” said Meg Benner, Senior Consultant at CAP and co-author of the brief.

“Even though the school day remains relatively standardized across the country, there can be benefits to rethinking the typical school schedule. Time is one of students’ and teachers’ most important resources and using it creatively can have a big payoff for both teaching and learning,” said Lisette Partelow, Director of K-12 Strategic Initiatives at CAP and co-author of the report.

The brief profiles innovative schedules at schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; and Brooklyn, New York.  These schedules, CAP notes, have been implemented in schools across the country to improve instruction and ensure teachers have ample time to teach, prepare, and develop their craft. While each of the schedules are different, they share three similarities: They allow additional time for planning and collaboration; provide flexible instructional blocks to differentiate content to student need; and allow opportunities for small group instruction or student-directed learning.

Click here to read “Reimagining the School Day: Innovative Schedules for Teaching and Learning” by Meg Benner and Lisette Partelow.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at [email protected] or 202.478.6331.