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The School Day:
Calendars and Schedules


The pressure is on to squeeze as much learning into the school year as possible. That pressure has forced many school leaders to get creative with calendars and schedules. The articles below from Education World's archive share stories and practical tips you might need as you consider options for revamping the school year or school day.

The School Day:
Fitting In Everything Requires Creative Scheduling

Making time in the school day to emphasize academics, tutor students who need help, schedule planning times for teams, or meet many other needs is a challenge all principals face. Our "Principal Files" team shares how they make time for these things and more.


Find more articles of interest in the following Education World resources:

Building School Community & Climate
See our complete archive of Focus On articles. More than three dozen hot topics of interest to principals.

More Schools Turn to Extended Days
Hours of test preparation, especially in underperforming schools, has left little time for electives or even some of the un-tested basic subjects. Adding time to the school year and day has helped some schools improve their scores and flesh out their curriculums.

It's About Time (and Sleep):
Making the Case for Starting School Later

High school administrators who have pushed back their schools' starting times to coincide with adolescent sleep cycles report fewer discipline problems, less tardiness, and happier and more alert students.

Could Four-Day Weeks Work for You?
Some school districts looking to save time and money have switched to four-day school weeks, either leaving the fifth day free or available for tutoring and parent conferences. Although some superintendents favor the concentrated class time, some say the wear and tear from a longer day has not been worth it for staff or students.

The School Day: It's Not a Race; Let's Change the Pace
In his book Time to Teach, Time to Learn, Chip Wood takes a serious look at the frenetic pace of teaching and learning. He offers dozens of suggestions for refocusing on what's really important during the school day.

Around the Block: The Benefits and Challenges of Block Scheduling
Is block scheduling a vehicle for greater depth and flexibility or merely a faddish approach that fails? What do the researchers -- and the practitioners -- have to say? Included: Tips from the principal of a successful "block-scheduled" school.

Alternative School Calendars: Smart Ideas or Senseless Experiments?
If American students are to compete effectively in a global economy, do they need to spend substantially more time in school? Many school systems are experimenting with year-round schedules, later start times, the four-day week, trimesters, and more.

Is the Four-Day School Week Coming Your Way?
Test scores were on the downswing; unfunded state mandates were on the rise. There was not enough money, not enough time. What is a superintendent to do? One school superintendent found the answer for his system in the four-day school week.

The School Calendar: It's Time to Make Time for Learning!
How is the school-year calendar determined in your school system? How is the length of the school day determined? Is student learning at the center of those decisions?

Block Scheduling: A Solution or a Problem?
The merits of block scheduling are a subject of great debate. Is it a flexible scheduling alternative that benefits students -- or is it a fad that's sure to pass?

Copyright 2008 Education World

Last updated 06/26/2008